Bengals that will need to step up in response to Trae Waynes’ injury

Cincinnati Bengals, Darius Phillips (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Cincinnati Bengals, Darius Phillips (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /
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The Cincinnati Bengals will need these players to step up after starting outside corner Trae Waynes reportedly suffered an injury.

On Tuesday morning, Cincinnati’s secondary took a huge blow after news broke that starting corner Trae Waynes suffered a pectoral injury that could cause him to miss significant time. The former Minnesota Vikings standout was one of the Bengals’ prized free-agent acquisitions this offseason and was expected to be a centerpiece of the revamped unit.

Defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo still has some solid pieces to work with, however. William Jackson III, returning from an injury-riddled campaign himself, will lock down one of the outside corner positions. Over the top, there is talent galore with Jessie Bates III, Vonn Bell, and Shawn Williams patrolling the backend.

Add in the fact that the club is expected to sign Mike Daniels to secure their ferocious defensive line rotation, and there’s adequate reason to believe that there are enough pieces in place to mask the void left by Waynes.

Still, the club will need one of the lesser-known defensive backs to step up to the challenges Waynes was set to take on. The Bengals’ regular-season slate features plenty of difficult matchups such as Keenan Allen, Odell Beckham Jr., Amari Cooper, and more. Those are daunting assignments for any young player.

Luckily for Cincinnati, there are several options in place. If the Bengals are to field a more respectable defense this year, they’ll need one of these players to step up.