Loss of Atkins just the latest, toughest for Bengals


The Bengals had already endured a number of huge injuries.

But losing one of their biggest and certainly their best defender is going to be tough to overcome.

With All-Pro defensive tackle Geno Atkins down with an apparent right ACL injury, the Bengals are short on answers on how to fill in the blanks.

It sucks because he’s one of the best,” defensive tackle Domata Peko said, via Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “He is a big part of our defense. You never want to see anybody go down. We’ll keep him in our prayers and Bengals Nation please keep him in your prayers also.

“In this league it’s the next man up, so Brandon Thompson has to be ready to play a lot more and we have to move on.”

Thompson, last year’s third-round pick, had to fill in the rest of the game without much help. Defensive tackle Devon Still missed a second straight game with an elbow injury, leaving them thin in the middle.

They were already missing cornerback Leon Hall (torn Achilles) and linebacker Rey Maualuga (who could miss another month with an MCL injury) and just put safety Taylor Mays on injured reserve as well.

But as important as any of those pieces might be, the penetrating defensive tackle was the centerpiece of their defense, and “next man up” rings hollow as a saying.

22 responses to “Loss of Atkins just the latest, toughest for Bengals

  1. Steelers fan myself and have little to no love for the Bengals, but this sucks. Never like seeing a true workhorse type player go down who (from what we see in the media) seems like a good guy.

    Hopefully he goes through the surgery/rehab process and is back next year at full strength.

  2. Yeah no other team deals with injuries. Those poor Bungles being only the second team with the Pats to have key injuries happen as the other 30 teams are fully healthy.

  3. “Bengals Nation”? They can’t even sell out crucial home games. If there is a “Bengals Nation”, it’s only as big as Liechtenstein. I don’t think it even crosses the Ohio River.

    Everybody has injuries this year. Look at the Pats. They have had a ton of injuries and they are still winning. The Bengals just can’t keep from whining about everything and anything. They have had the extraordinary luck of catching the Steelers and the Ravens both in a rebuilding year and they still trot out excuses because they know they are going to choke and lose.

  4. That stinks. This steeler fan sincerely hopes he comes back full force. Dude’s a beast, and the afcn is built on trench wars.

  5. Feel bad for Atkins…but not for the Bengals. Good teams overcome the injuries. the Patriots are in the same boat….as well as other teams. Next man up only rings hollw if you let it ring hollow.

  6. Is it my imagination or are there way more knee injuries this year and last year than normal? Hmmmm? Could it be that players are avoiding the upper half of the body? Unintended consequences…..

  7. The Bengals had already endured a number of huge injuries.
    O that’s right, they are the ONLY team that have key players missing in the NFL……..welcome to the game of football.

  8. Bad luck on Atkins but almost every team has lost crucial players this year.

    Sure wish Cincy had played so poorly against the Pats as they did last night.

  9. The Bengals picked a TE in the first round last year when they already had a good young player at the position. The next pick they went for RB Bernard. Get more weapons on Offense and forget the D. Now they are paying the price.

  10. I’m sure these short weeks had nothing to do with this injury. Let’s keep preaching player safety while putting players in harm’s way on three day work weeks. Right, Roger?

  11. Atkins going down was just the final gut-punch after our string of injuries over the past few weeks.

    Has anyone looked into the number of injuries sustained during Thursday night games compared to regular Sunday games? It could just be perception but it seems like there are a lot more on these Thursday games.

  12. Mn and Dcap, glad you both are so knowledgable about all things NFL. Cinti is down 6 starters on defense. All teams deal with it. No playing the excuse game. Offense generates 450+ yds and has the ball for 40 minutes last night. Its about the turnovers which Cinti had 4. Sloppy play to boot = a Loss. Its one game. I have no doubt they will take the next 11 days and be ready for Baltimore. 3 of their last four games were on the road. I ll take the 3-1 record in those games. Dolphins found a way to gut it out. Kuddos to them.

  13. Sorry Bengal fans, and Geno!!! Hope you can get back this year. It’s always next man up. I remember a New England team that was devastated when Drew Bledsoe went down because he couldn’t be replaced on a great team. That didn’t turn out so bad. Look at the Lions with Warford, a third round pick this year playing at a probowl level, who would have thought. The main thing is don’t panic and keep playing, you still have 21 guys that are still there and your whole team has played good. Heck you beat us UUUUUGH!!! Any way good luck and get back healthy. Hope to see you in the Superbowl!!

    GO LIONS!!!!

  14. Part of the injury problem is the collective bargaining agreement the players made with the NFL to cut down on the offseason work, and contact. That is the type of thing players could gradually work into, now they hardly have any full contact til it’s another team coming full speed ahead. Add to that the fact they have come down so hard on head injuries (which there will always be, it’s a full contact sport) defensive players are forced to tackle low. This Atkins injury had nothing to do with any of that though, it was just bad luck in the trenches. If it was anything other than that, it would be fatigue from playing a Thursday Night game. Maybe the NFL should look at that too!!

    GO LIONS!!!

  15. Atkins will become the eighth player that Cincinnati will place on Injured Reserve this year, all of them on defense. So unless you are a Packers fan, let me tell you a little story ’bout a man named SHHH.

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