The Bengals suffered one of the injuries they couldn't suffer on defense in the second half of Sunday's loss in Baltimore when nose tackle D.J. Reader was carted off the field with a left knee injury that is being reported as season-ending.
And then took another one when end Sam Hubbard went out with a left elbow injury in the fourth quarter, but there was no word on that
The Bengals made Reader the highest-paid nose tackle in history during the offseason and was the last man standing after a slew of injuries has cleared out the defensive tackle spot.
Reader may become the third tackle to go on injured reserve and it happened on a day Pro Bowler Geno Atkins made his season debut in sparing fashion after missing the first four games with a shoulder injury. The tackles now working with Atkins are a career journeyman playing well in Christian Covington and a group of young payers in what amounts to their first NFL seasons.
- Wide receiver A.J. Green left the game before halftime with a hamstring injury, but it's not clear if he aggravated the same one that took him out of most of training camp It's also not clear if he was venting on the sidelines as people tried to read his lips off the TV. Head coach Zac Taylor said that would be news to him.
"A.J. is nothing but positive," Taylor said.
For just the fourth time in his 116 games Green left with no catches, all games that he sustained an injury. It caps a miserable first five games for him with just 14 catches on the season and none longer than 15 yards. With just one catch last week for three yards, it's the first time in his career he's had just one catch in two straight games.
The only time quarterback Joe Burrow targeted him came on a blitz and he threw it over his head on a ball cornerback Marcus Peters picked off. Taylor said the fault is on the ball being thrown and not Green's inability to contest it.
"I was standing right there and I don't think (Green) could have made that play," Taylor said. "He probably didn't even know where the ball was, to be quite honest with you."
- Taylor says he won't panic after watching his offense suffer a drop in 300 yards from last week. Those 205 yards are the second fewest the Bengals have had in Taylor's 21 games. The fewest were in another division road game last season with 175 in Pittsburgh.
"The one thing I can tell you is we are not going to panic," Taylor said. "We know where the issues were. We knew we had to be efficient on first and second down. We had three turnovers, we had what felt like a ton of penalties that took us out of position, minus-yardage plays, which in some cases can be very avoidable. When you do that against the Baltimore Ravens, they are going to make you pay for it, and it is going to make you feel like that. But again, no time to hit the panic button. We can regroup and have a great week and go play well on Sunday."
- No spinning top replays of Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson deking out Bengals defenders from Sunday. After getting hammered by Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson twice last year, defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo rolled out a game plan good enough to win. But like Taylor said, "The offense put the defense in a lot of tough positions with turnovers, penalties, and really, the defense gave up 20 points over the course of the game ... They did a lot of good things we can build off of. If they play like that again, we can win a lot of football games."
In his three previous starts against the Bengals Jackson ran for more than 300 yards, but he had just three Sunday. And after giving up 17 points in the first 15:04, they only allowed a field goal in the final 45 minutes after giving up 49 in the last outing against the Ravens.
It looked like Anarumo went with variations of a 4-4 alignment with four down lineman, three linebackers and strong safety Vonn Bell in the box. And while everyone seemed to take a turn at spying on Jackson, slot cornerback Darius Phillips had the most eye-catching effort keeping Jackson in check on the perimeter with blitzes and run support.
Free safety Jessie Bates said the Bengals flooded the middle of the field to keep Jackson at bay.
"I think that we had a really good game plan going into it to stop that zone read and the quarterback stuff," Bates said. "But we didn't do well on third down, which we didn't really emphasize on. We (emphasize) it every week, but we didn't do that well today."
The game was decided on third down. The Bengals were 3-for-16, the Ravens were 7-for-15, but one for their last five as the Cincy defense re-grouped.
View photos of the Cincinnati Bengals in action against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium.
- This is why the Bengals almost went ballistic when they thought they'd lose Wyoming linebacker Logan Wilson at the bottom of the second round. They love the man's instincts and that's what got him his second interception in as many games on Sunday when he read the Ravens offensive line and blitzed instead of rushed.
And it was a heck of a catch, back-pedaling and then having enough reaction to take it off the turf in almost a sitting position.
"We just had a blitz dialed up there, and based on what the offense gave us, I could read it and drop back out of it and I just so happened to drop back out," Wilson said, "and that's where Lamar ended up throwing it. But, I'll trade those interceptions for wins any time."