GLENDALE, Ariz. — Injuries marred the final minutes of the Cincinnati Bengals’ 19-13 preseason win over the Cardinals on Sunday night as three Bengals were carted off University of Phoenix Stadium’s field in the fourth quarter alone.
Coach Marvin Lewis didn’t have any updates on the injured in the locker room after the game, but he did acknowledge that having to deal with the injuries was “the only negative part” of the night. His defensive starters played well and for the third straight preseason game didn’t allow a touchdown. His offense played turnover-free football, and his reserves held their own and played well enough to preserve the win.
Throughout the physical game several Bengals needed medical attention, but it was the injuries to James Wright, T.J. Johnson and Trey Hopkins that caused a series of stoppages and had fans hushed. All three were on the ground for several minutes and needed assistance getting off the field after getting banged up late in the ballgame.
All three also find themselves on the bubble, needing every opportunity they can to make the team.
First, it was Hopkins, the undrafted rookie free agent from Texas. He went down with 12:35 remaining in the game after a couple of players rolled on top of his leg. For some time, trainers evaluated his right leg before a cart came onto the field and he was loaded on it. The Bengals later announced that he had a right shin injury. Hopkins was spotted immediately after the game walking through the locker room with his leg already inside a boot.
As if that moment wasn’t enough for the Bengals, two plays later, seventh-round draft pick James Wright required a cart when he went down awkwardly at the end of an attempted touchdown reception. While trying to make the 15-yard catch in the back of the end zone, he took what appeared to be a blow to the head from safety Curtis Taylor’s forearm before going down hard to the turf. Instantly after his head hit the ground, Wright’s body locked up.
A few minutes went by before medical personnel got him to sit up before helping him onto the cart. He was not strapped onto a stretcher.
On the next drive, running back Cedric Peerman received what appeared to be a serious leg injury but walked off on his own power after getting some treatment on the field. On the drive after that, Johnson went down with an undisclosed issue. Like Hopkins and Wright, a cart eased the offensive lineman into the locker room.
In addition to those injuries, linebacker Vontaze Burfict and defensive tackle Devon Still went down in the first half with hamstring injuries.
When asked if Burfict would be available for the season opener in two weeks, Lewis simply said, “Yes.”
The Bengals won’t have much time to rest the injured before their preseason finale. With days off Monday and Wednesday, they will only practice Tuesday before Thursday’s game at home against the Colts.