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Hard Knocks recap: An ACL tear, a cart ride, and practice goes on


In a painful moment early in this week’s episode of Hard Knocks, linebacker Brandon Joiner went down holding his knee and screaming.

Perhaps even more painful to watch was how quickly the Bengals got back to work after Joiner was carted off the field with what turned out to be a season-ending ACL tear.

Life in NFL training camp is like that: A player goes down, sees his dream die, and the rest of the guys just have to move along and get back to work. Shortly after Joiner was taken off the field, Bengals linebackers coach Paul Guenther delivered a blunt message to the linebackers that Joiner’s injury would give the rest of them a better chance of making the team.

“We had another one of our guys go down today, so understand: You young guys are going to get plenty of opportunities,” Guenther said.

That’s the training camp life that Hard Knocks demonstrates. One minute a player is suffering a serious injury, and the next minute the rest of the team is moving on without him.

Hard Knocks also captures great moments like Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer calling second-year defensive tackle Devon Still into his office and bluntly telling him that he’s not good enough.

“I think you’re a tough guy, but I don’t think you play like a tough guy,” Zimmer told Still. “We need you, and I need you, to play a hell of a lot better than you’ve been doing. And it hurts me that I can’t get you to play better.”

And Hard Knocks includes touching moments like Domata Peko Jr., son of the Bengals’ nose tackle, sitting in the back seat of the family car and asking, “Dad, are you gonna beat the Steelers this year?” And nice moments like offensive lineman Otis Hudson giving Marvin Lewis a hug after Lewis informed him that he wouldn’t survive the team’s cut down to 75 players. And ridiculous moments like an arm wrestling competition won by linebacker James Harrison.

With one week remaining on Hard Knocks, we all know what’s ahead: The final roster cutdowns, and a whole lot of players losing their jobs. Followed by the rest of the players getting to work, which is what football players always have to do right after one of their teammates sees his dream come to an end.

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15 Responses to “Hard Knocks recap: An ACL tear, a cart ride, and practice goes on”
  1. t8ertot says: Aug 27, 2013 11:12 PM

    Peko was also wearing a #15 hat. RIP Chris

  2. whodey08 says: Aug 27, 2013 11:41 PM

    It’s heart breaking to see some talented football players put in work and have it go to waste with a stupid injury

  3. si1m says: Aug 28, 2013 12:16 AM

    Even a child knew not to ask his dad if they’d beat the ravens. He must’ve seen that 30 point beat down last year in Wk1 and the bungles 0 TD playoff game

  4. dyhard32 says: Aug 28, 2013 12:29 AM

    this is the NFL witch means NOT FOR LONG

  5. favresweiner says: Aug 28, 2013 2:39 AM

    Anybody else think that this has been a boring season of Hard Knocks?

  6. PacificNWMark says: Aug 28, 2013 3:27 AM

    Great season for Hard Knocks this year, and nothing but respect for Mavin Lewis and his staff – the Bengals seem like a class organization.

  7. crip2nite says: Aug 28, 2013 4:46 AM

    I know you want Drama, but C’ome on man! This is a tough mans game. So he got hurt that sucks! Now keep your eye on the prize. And get back to practice!

    Who Dey!

  8. ken14andersonforhof says: Aug 28, 2013 5:18 AM

    Life in a nutshell, for everyday working stiffs..Not just football players,,…EH…….

  9. joetoronto says: Aug 28, 2013 5:51 AM

    If only Hard Knocks had a real NFL team this year, instead of the Bungals.

    Oh well, maybe next year.

  10. shovelhunter says: Aug 28, 2013 7:49 AM

    Si1m, the ravens super bowl victory is nice and all but peko Jr didn’t ask about the ravens because they are no longer a threat. Even to the browns. Teams were afraid of a ray Lewis led defense not Joe flacco. With no Bobbie Williams or Willie Anderson signing with them just a few weeks before these teams play to snitch on the bengals for one last pay day. Expect to lose both games.

  11. detroitkillas says: Aug 28, 2013 8:57 AM

    Awsome H.K. ..Great insite into how it is….Marvin great coach, great staff…..

  12. natijim235 says: Aug 28, 2013 9:06 AM

    to si1m – won’t be long now before bengals put a beatdown on your rat birds

  13. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Aug 28, 2013 9:13 AM

    You forgot to mention a butt kickin’ from the Cowboys.

  14. ravanator says: Aug 28, 2013 11:37 AM

    It makes me feel sorry for people that think Marvin Lewis is a great HC. There must be a really depressed group of Bengals fans. Lewis has never won anything, but this loser mentality must be accepted in Cinci, the worst football city in America. Enjoy!

  15. jamal1971 says: Aug 29, 2013 7:04 AM

    joetoronto and raventor-Jealous losers.

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