Bengals head trainer Paul Sparling is one of the best there is and next season he'll be doing this in his sixth different decade. So when Bengals wide receiver Auden Tate scrambled to get back on his feet after Sunday's diving 20-yard catch with 6:43 left, Sparling sprinted on to the field as if he were running back Joe Mixon getting to the edge.
Raiders safety Curtis Riley's hit on Tate had been right in front of Sparling and he saw the force on the neck. Sparling knew there could have been a possible fracture that might be potentially a critical injury even though Tate was able to move, so he motioned him to stay on the ground until he could be immobilized and taken to a hospital to be checked out.
Since he flew back with the team in a neck brace, it was assumed Tate had no fracture and the official diagnosis is a cervical strain. The next step is concussion protocol, according to head coach Zac Taylor.
- Wide receiver Tyler Boyd isn't saying "Give Me The Damn Ball," but he made it clear Monday he thinks he needs more than three targets after he had one catch for no yards. He also said he's not pointing the finger, but he thinks he was open on that fourth-and-four from the Raiders 27 with 5:11 left, the one where rookie quarterback Ryan Finley threw an incomplete go route to rookie wide receiver Damion Willis.
"I feel like I'm a game-changer and I can use my talents any way that comes my way," Boyd said. "They were playing a lot of zone coverage. I felt like I should have the opportunities in the red zone, especially that second-to-last-drive."