Bengals Won’t Collapse Without Jackson III

epierce
Jul 29, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Cody Core (16) makes a catch against cornerback Darqueze Dennard (21) during training camp at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 29, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Cody Core (16) makes a catch against cornerback Darqueze Dennard (21) during training camp at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /
facebooktwitterreddit

The loss of William Jackson III isn’t a tragedy. The Bengals will move on as if nothing happened. Depth and skill will secure the secondary.

With the injury to William Jackson III, Cincinnati Bengals fans may go into panic mode. Jackson was the Bengals 24th overall draft pick. The speedy defensive back will miss significant time, while he rehabs a torn pectoral muscle. Due to the severity of the injury, Jackson could see his rookie season put on the shelf.

The sudden loss of a top pick surely brings to mind “the curse” that has been freely associated with the Bengals. Going into the season, losing any player to injury is potentially devastating for a team. But, Cincinnati seems to suffer the losses of major first-round players. Jackson isn’t the first to miss substantial playing time. He joins a well-remembered group of top picks.

David Pollack (2005 NFL Draft) was impressive enough to be selected 17th overall. The Bengals didn’t see his full potential until the final games of the 2005 campaign. The next year, Bengals faithful never got to see his athleticism again. In a Week 2 game against the Cleveland Browns, he suffered a neck injury that ended his career. He officially retired in April of 2008.

Remember Ki-Jana Carter? The Bengals liked him so much, they invested $19.2 million into his legs. The former Penn State running back didn’t last long. Who could have imagined Carter would shred his knee, on his third carry of the 1995 preseason? Yet, it happened. Another Bengals first-rounder was injured.

Looking over the Bengals track record, it would seem like there’s definitely a curse on the team.Honestly, it’s all about timing and luck. Football is one sport that depends on both those factors working out. The Bengals seem to anger the football gods when it comes to either one.

Owner Mike Brown has stated, in the past, that the Bengals have had unfortunate incidents with draft picks. Per The Cincinnati Enquirer, he was concise and candid.

"“We had a history here that went on for a number of years of undue, excessive, disproportionate injuries, to our draft picks. It set our team back. And as much as anything I can think of, it made us a lesser team than we could’ve or should’ve been.”"

That statement could be applied to any Bengals team of the last 20 years. But, it’s not the same Orange and Black. The loss of Jackson won’t cause a throwback to the 1990’s. You won’t see a sweater with a turtleneck under it, there will be no Seinfeld retooling and Ren and Stimpy will stay underground. There will also be no return to the Lost Decade. The Bengals are secure at the corner position.

The sky is not falling.

Darqueze Dennard will be expected to step up. Chris Lewis-Harris will have to prove his worth. Even though Josh Shaw is transitioning to safety, he’ll have to man up. Adam Jones will need to be a stabilizing force for the unit. All’s not lost. But, things just got real. The Steelers will look at this as karma. Any truce just got tossed to the wind.

One player doesn’t make or break a team. It’s the focus and determination of the other warriors that matters. 

Next: Who Steps Up?

facebooktwitterreddit