The Bengals have been hit hard with injuries, during training camp. Maybe the rumors of a curse are more serious than fans want to believe.
The Cincinnati Bengals have played one preseason game. Since Friday’s battle with the Minnesota Vikings, Cincinnati looks like the walking wounded. The rigors of training camp seem to be taking a toll on the players. After getting bit by the injury bug last year, the Bengals have suffered a rash of early ailments. Maybe it’s true. There could be something to that curse rumor.
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In just a week of training camp, Bengals players have suffered various setbacks. Two of the most frightening seemed to happen back-to-back. First round pick William Jackson III is out with a torn pectoral muscle. Those forever gracious and loving Pittsburgh Stilluh fans had a few choice words for that incident. They actually reveled in the moment. Hopefully, Jackson can return later in the year.
Suddenly, the big man is down. Andrew Billings is the latest casualty. Billings was carted off the field, during practice last week. Initial reports were that he suffered a “lower leg” injury. Further evaluation proved Billings’ injury was a torn meniscus. Personally, I was ready to see him in action. Anyone who looks like a carbon copy of Geno Atkins is alright with me. Now, his rookie season is in doubt.
What else is happening? Mario Alford is in a boot. Cedric Ogbuehi has a toe injury and may be out a couple of weeks. Cody Core is making a strong bid for playing time. He had three catches for 33 yards against the Vikings. Core left practice with a dislocated finger. The injuries keep mounting.
We have to remember that it’s training camp and things will happen. But, for some strange reason, it’s easy to let the curse pop up. Why does this keep happening to the Bengals? When Andy Dalton went down in Week 14, Cincinnati was devastated. I’ve been following the Bengals since 1975. The first thought that came to mind was January 8, 2006. Carson Palmer and the Kimo von Oelhoffen shredded knee incident.
Is it okay to think curse at this point? No, it’s not. Yet, it’s a very tempting prospect.
Each year, something happens to hinder the Men in Stripes. The 2015 campaign belonged to the Bengals. The dominating defense and sleek, Cadillac-smooth offense deserved to be in Super Bowl L. Unfortunately, signs of the curse popped up.
My heart wants to tell me that there’s a curse. The two Super Bowl appearances each had wild circumstances that drove fans crazy. Before Super Bowl XVI, the Bengals were fighting themselves. Running back Stanley Wilson was involved in a drug case that caused him to miss Super Bowl XXIII. The rest, as they say, is history.
So far, the new season is starting out with the same vibe. The players are falling like paper dolls. It’s too early to determine the long-term effects of the injuries. Hopefully, the bumps and bruises won’t make fans feed into the doomsday mindset (Rod Serling is watching).
Maybe there is a curse. It’s the one we allow to control our minds.