Week 4 will be more like survival mode for the Cincinnati Bengals. A win will help morale, but leaving with no injuries is the key.
The Bengals preseason will come to an end on Thursday night when they tangle with the Indianapolis Colts. With the exception of Week 1 and parts of Week 3, it’s been a disappointing showing. But, that’s only if it’s viewed from a standpoint of W’s. There are takeaways from each game that can be viewed as positives, going into the regular season.
But, the main aspect of the final game is to get out alive, shape the 53-man roster and get ready to battle the Ravens. Any fans looking for a blowout performance or starters popping up for a ton of snaps is delusional. Yes, there will be short stints by some of the first-teamers to get the kinks out. But, any extended time is just teasing fate. Marvin Lewis & Co. are basically done with the process. The Colts game will be a chance for those rookies and bubble vets to put something on film.
There have already been enough scares to warrant a wholesale clear out of the first-teamers. Jeremy Hill left the Washington game with some sort of ankle injury, Vontaze Burfict was taken to the locker room with what was thought to be a back injury and possible concussion. Burfict is fine. Bengals fans are awaiting the news on Hill.
Just Survive And Move On
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While the preseason games are a great way to get hyped for the real deal, it’s also an easy way to have a potentially great year ruined.
In like manner, it wouldn’t be a great thing to see Hill go down with another injury. The Bengals drafted Joe Mixon to get snaps fast. But the veteran leadership of Hill and Giovani Bernard are necessary for Mixon to develop.
Lewis may have been kidding when he said it. But, it’s a scary foreshadowing that looms in each meaningless game. When asked about Mixon’s performance in the Week 1 win over the Bucs, his response was deadpan but real.
"“Well, with just his touches overall, I thought he did a good job. We’ll make sure he’s on track. He did a nice job and he’s just one ankle (injury) from having an opportunity to do a little bit more.”"
Preseason games are…interesting. The Bengals might post a W on Thursday. But, the true victory will be no injuries.