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Bengals Dealt Massive Blow Before Steelers Game



Bengals Steelers DL D.J. Reader

The Bengals will be without standout defensive tackle D.J. Reader for the rest of the day after he suffered a right knee injury and was carted off. Reader was ruled out right away, which does not bode well for his availability next week against the Steelers in a pivotal game.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported that Reader suffered a potentially significant quad injury and will need an MRI to determine the extent of the injury.

Reader is not the only player who the Bengals have lost. Rookie cornerback and standout special teamer D.J. Ivey suffered a left knee injury and was carted off. He was ruled out quickly, too. Both of those injuries could be significant factors moving forward for those units.

The Bengals have suffered plenty of injuries already this season, with quarterback Joe Burrow being the most notable. But Tee Higgins and other top players have missed considerable time throughout the year, but Reader could be a massive blow for a unit that is already one of the worst run defenses in the NFL with him in there. Without him, that could be even worse for a team that needs as much help as it can get up front to maintain its run defense.

Meanwhile, on the Steelers’ side of things, quarterback Kenny Pickett hopes somehow to power back from high ankle sprain tightrope surgery to play three weeks after the injury.

Pickett suffered a high ankle sprain in his right ankle in the team’s Week 13 loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Dec. 3. Two days later, he had surgery on that ankle in an attempt to decrease his recovery time and strengthen the joint against potential further injury.

Pickett underwent the same procedure on his other ankle when he was at Pitt in 2020, and he missed only two games, returning on Nov. 7 after being injured on Oct. 10.