Bengals Preseason Week 4: Backups Will Be The Key

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Jan 4, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts cornerback Greg Toler (28) confronts a Cincinnati Bengals player during the 2014 AFC Wild Card playoff football game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 4, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts cornerback Greg Toler (28) confronts a Cincinnati Bengals player during the 2014 AFC Wild Card playoff football game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Bengals will be closing out the preseason against the Indianapolis Colts. Not many starters will be playing. The key is to stay healthy.

The preseason is coming to an end. But, with a number of walking wounded, the Cincinnati Bengals are just trying to stay healthy. After a Week 3 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Bengals face Indianapolis on Thursday night. The biggest key to the game is a simple one. Escape with no more injuries.

The Bengals came out of the Jaguars game with a sigh of relief. Adam Jones, A.J. Green, and Cedric Peerman were all banged up. The battle wounds suffered by Jones and Green were minor (at least that’s what’s being said). The injuries aren’t enough to keep the starters from suiting up against the New York Jets. 

Besides the wounds and bruises, the Bengals starters looked crisp and ready. The come-from-behind loss was due to a bubbling stew of rookies and third-string backups. While the majority of  the starters and second-teamers played, Jacksonville trailed 21-3. After wholesale substitutions, the comeback took place.

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Jones never got to enter the game. Adam injured his ankle while warming up on the sidelines. Green banged knees with a defender and wasn’t allowed to re-enter the contest. Peerman’s injury was much more gruesome. He fractured his forearm on a tackle that forced him to the sideline.

Nagging Injuries

Initially, it looked as if Green’s injury was serious enough to keep him from playing in Week 1. But, after being examined by team doctors and trainers, he could have returned to action.

Jones’ injury wasn’t as serious either. When asked about his status for the Jets, Jones was all smiles.

“I’m good. When I back-pedaled I didn’t feel a pull, I just felt pain,” Jones said. “It loosened up as I was going. I was trying to go back out and Coach Lewis said, ‘No way.’ Yeah, if it was the regular season I would have played.”

Bengals faithful won’t get to see many starters suit up for the Colts game. Preseason Week 4 is usually the time to let the rookies and backups shine. This will be their final chance to impress the coaching staff or other teams that have positional needs.

If the Orange and Black is going to end the preseason at .500, it will be on the backup players. But, with the regular season looming and so many lingering injuries, Coach Lewis may be satisfied with a healthy loss.

Next: Another Problem?

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