The Cincinnati Bengals lost A.J. Green to a right hamstring injury yesterday, and initial reports are a hamstring tear that would end his season. That injury at the start of the costly loss at home to Buffalo was bookended by another to Giovani Bernard. According to multiple sources, Bernard tore his ACL with less than a minute remaining after making the catch.
The timing, and magnitude, could not have been worse for the Bengals. Bernard and Green represent 45% of the Bengals’ pass receptions, and 42% of the total yards from scrimmage for the team. The Bengals had an opportunity to stay in the AFC North race, as Baltimore lost to Dallas, but a loss now has them 1.5 games back of both Pittsburgh and Baltimore.
Marvin Lewis has been the head coach in Cincinnati for 14 seasons. He has the longest tenure, by far, in one location without any playoff wins. What he did have going for him is that the Bengals had been to the playoffs five times in a row. They could still sell hope that the team was ascending and next year was the year. That is likely gone and one has to wonder how the wounded Bengals finish in 2016, and whether it means a coaching change.