Unfortunately, an injury has hit the Cincinnati Bengals before training camp has even begun and it’s come at a position where the Bengals are already in a tough spot at. Offensive lineman Hakeem Adeniji suffered a pectoral injury during OTAs and could miss the entire season.
Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic tweeted that Zac Taylor said Adeniji had surgery on his pec. Dehner then added, “That likely means he is out for the year.”
This is devastating news for a number of reasons but the biggest is that Adeniji had a decent rookie season despite being a sixth-round pick. He might not have been in the running for a starting job but if an injury occurred, he could have been one of the first men called up to fill in.
The Bengals have to sign an offensive lineman with the injury to Hakeem Adeniji.
At this point of the offseason, there aren’t stars available in free agency but there are plenty of names the Bengals should be interested in. The best offensive linemen available are Morgan Moses, Mitchell Schwartz, Russell Okung, Trai Turner, and Rick Wagner, all of whom are viable starting options still out there.
The Bengals have their tackle spots shored up, however, but it’s worth bringing any of these guys in, especially since Jonah Williams has proven to be injury-prone. If Williams were to get injured and the Bengals signed someone like Moses or Schwartz, they could step in at right tackle and Riley Reiff could switch back to left tackle, which is the position he’s typically played.
Some fans might look at the injury to Adeniji and might think the team is okay along the o-line. They drafted Jackson Carman, D’Ante Smith, and Trey Hill while also signing Reiff along with the group they already have but there’s always room for improvement, especially for a team that could afford to bring in another lineman.
Losing a nice depth piece like Adeniji, who played in 15 games last year and started five, is a huge blow for the Bengals. Not signing another o-lineman would be a major mistake.