The Cincinnati Bengals spent most of the regular season enjoying a healthy offensive line. Now, amid a playoff run, Cincy is dealing with injury disasters.
Right tackle La'el Collins tore his ACL on Christmas Eve. Starting right guard Alex Cappa injured his ankle in Week 18. Then Sunday night, left tackle Jonah Williams exited the game with a left knee injury and was seen after the 24-17 win over Baltimore with a crutch and soft knee brace; after undergoing an MRI on Monday, Williams was diagnosed with what is believed to be a dislocated kneecap, per NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport.
Suddenly, the Bengals were down three starting offensive linemen.
Jackson Carman replaced Williams in the wild-card win, leaving Cincinnati with Cordell Volson, Ted Karras, Max Scharping, Hakeem Adeniji and Carman as its starters.
"Fighting. I'd assess them as they're fighting, giving us a chance," coach Zac Taylor said of his offensive line.
Burrow took four sacks, and the Bengals' offense limped to the end Sunday night. Cincy generated just one first down by penalty on their final three possessions of the win over the Ravens. The QB was under siege all game as the Bengals didn't generate a pass more than 19 yards.
Heading to Buffalo to face the Bills in the Divisional Round, it's unclear at this point if Williams or Cappa can play, but Burrow expressed confidence in his line.
"We have a lot of faith in those guys," Burrow said. "Max stepped up today, Hakeem stepped up and then Jackson stepped up when he got in there after Jonah got hurt. So we've got a lot of faith in those guys. They're gonna get their job done."
The Bengals played through protection issues during last year's Super Bowl run. This offseason, it was a major focus, adding Collins, Karras and Cappa. But heading to Buffalo, the line is again an issue Burrow & Co. will have to battle through if they're to continue a postseason march.