Loss of Riley Reiff will be a tremendous blow to Bengals offensive line

Riley Reiff, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
Riley Reiff, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) /

The Cincinnati Bengals avoided the injury bug for a large portion of their 2021 season but it’s here now and it sucks. The latest injury casualty is right tackle Riley Reiff, who’s being placed on IR.

Reiff has been battling an ankle injury over the past few weeks. He missed the week 13 loss to the Chargers and tried to give it a go for this past weekend against the 49ers but was pulled midway through the game. It was clear that his ankle was bothering him, as he hobbled off the field during the game.

Reiff’s absence now puts Isaiah Prince in the starting right tackle role where he’s played in 12 games and made one start at this season. His PFF grade is 72.8 but he definitely struggled when thrust into action on Sunday.

The Cincinnati Bengals placed Riley Reiff on IR.

The offensive line has been hit and miss this season and have looked particularly rough over the past few weeks. Two weeks ago, both Reiff and Trey Hopkins were out and the o-line struggled with their replacements trying to carry the load.

Reiff was signed by the Bengals over the offseason on just a one-year deal and it was a nice get for the stripes. He previously played left tackle with the Lions and Vikings but the Bengals knew they’d be switching him over to right tackle due to having Jonah Williams as the anchor on the left side of the line.

While Reiff has had his rough patches during the season, what member of the o-line hasn’t? Fans are hoping the team can retain him for 2022 and beyond and the organization will get a glimpse at what life is like without Reiff at right tackle over these next few weeks.

In the loss to the 49ers, Joe Burrow was sacked five times and hit six total times. Any time he tried to drop back to pass, the Niners pass rush got to him and it made for a very long day.

Prince is someone who will be slotted in at right tackle but with rookie D’Ante Smith returning to the active roster, he’s someone to keep an eye on as well. This will be an opportunity to see if either of these guys are realistic options for the future.

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Injuries at this point in the season are bound to happen but for the Bengals, these injuries could be the difference between a playoff berth and missing the postseason.