DETROIT - It looks like the Bengals dodged another bullet at right tackle Thursday night, but they are not going to have Cedric Ogbuehi or Jake Fisher for the next few weeks.
Fisher didn't leave the Ford Field locker room after the 30-14 win over the Lions using the pair of crutches there were stashed in his locker. But he did leave in a boot with what Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis term "a sprained ankle," on the first snap of the second offensive series.
That could mean anywhere between two to four weeks and while Lewis has said Ogbuehi (toe) won't miss the Sept. 11 regular-season opener, it's unclear if Fisher will. What seems all but certain is that 10-year vet Eric Winston becomes their third different starting right tackle when they go to Jacksonville Aug. 28 for their third pre-season game ...
Mike Nugent and head coach Marvin Lewis expressed no concern after Nugent missed two more kicks Thursday. Nugent, 34, is heading into his seventh year as the Bengals kicker and so there is a comfort level there. But it should make the next game against the Jaguars interesting since kicker Zach Hocker is expected to kick for the first time in a game. He hurt his ankle early in training camp.
"No concerns. I just hit the ball well in warmups and hit it horrible in the game," said Nugent after he hooked a 33-yard extra point and a 45-yard field-goal try six day after missing a 48-yarder. "In my career I've hit the ball extremely well in pre-season games and the last two games I've been pathetic."
But he wasn't on a 50-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter. He said he didn't do anything differently "except on the other ones I just took too much ground." ...
Backup quarterback Andy Dalton must be making some mouth of NFL GMs water this preseason. He put up another triple digit passer rating Thursday, leading the Bengals on a nifty late first half TD drive that consumed 4:19 of the half's final 4:33, capped by rookie Tyler Boyd's 12-yard TD catch with 12 seconds left.
Boyd said he knew he was going to be wide open down the seam once he saw the Lions switch into a zone. In Friday's opener, McCarron and Boyd set up the Bengals' lone offensive TD with a diving 40-yard play.
"He's smart. He knows the spot to be in. I trust him," McCarron said. "We have really good timing."
McCarron also couldn't say enough about running back Rex Burkhead, who had been a late scratch in the opener. Lewis tapped him as a special teams captain and that got the night going for the proud former Nebraska captain.
"It's the frst gtkme I've been a captain here, so that meant a lot to me," said Burkhead, in his fourth season.
He was all over the place on that late TD drive, ripping off an 18-yard run and provided bailouts on check-down passes of 12 and 11 yards. He finished with 73 yards on seven touches.
"I've always said this. I think he's one of the best unknown backs in leaguie for everything he does,"McCarron said. He's great at those check-downs. You find him in space and he's hard to tackle." . . .
Backup safety Derron Smith has been making a steady improvement since the Bengals took him in the sixth round out of Fresno State in 2015. He served last year on special teams and this year his very solid camp shows he's worthy of a few snaps on defense.
Known for his 15 career college interceptions, his first one in the pros was one to remember Thursday.He read the 11-year veteran eyes of Lions backup quartyerback Dan Orlovsky, jumped a route on the sideline and took it 60 yards for a second-quarter touchdown that made 13-3.
"I was just playing my responsibility and my responsibility was the flat," Smith said. "Last year I was able to get a few (interceptions) in practice and I had one in camp this year, so it's nice to get one in a game. Now I have to get one in a regular-season game."
His last pick-6?
"Junior year," Smith said. "Against USC in the bowl game."
Pro Bowl cornerback Adam Jones has been watching him.
"Ball hawk," Jones said. "He's always been a ball hawk."
Cincinnati Bengals take on the Detroit Lions at Ford Field in week 2 of the preseason 8/18/2016