The scene was grim in Miami on Thursday night after defensive tackle Geno Atkins went down early in the contest, leaving the already undermanned Bengals without their best defensive player.
Miami scored four plays after Atkins left the game, and his injury came four days after the Bengals lost four players to injury during their 49-9 win over the New York Jets. Three of those hurt in that game were starters or getting a starter’s amount of reps. Rey Maualuga was out Thursday and was replaced with Vinnie Rey. Taylor Mays is out for the year and that led to more playing time for Chris Crocker. Pro Bowl offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth was also out, leaving Anthony Collins to go up against one of the best defensive lineman in the game.
Atkins entered the game with 18 tackles and five sacks. He had one first-quarter sack on Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill before his departure, and watching him walk off the field for possibly the last time this year had to be gut-wrenching for everyone on that Bengals sideline to watch.
“We’ll keep him in our prayers and Bengals Nation please keep him in your prayers also, “Domata Peko said. “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.”