The offensive coordinator of the team assures that they have worked so that these absences are not noticed by Joe Burrow
CINCINNATI – The Cincinnati Bengals will officially be without two of their top offensive linemen in Sunday’s AFC divisional round game against the Buffalo Bills.
Left tackle Jonah Williams and right guard Alex Cappa have been officially ruled out, leaving Cincinnati with three total backups on the offensive line. Right tackle La’el Collins has been out since Week 16 with a torn ACL in his left knee.RELATED
Bengals coach Zac Taylor said the unit’s communication and level of detail was encouraging as Cincinnati prepares to face the Bills in Buffalo.
“I think they did a good job,” Zac Taylor noted of the group’s synergy. “I think they are ready to play and take advantage of their opportunities.”
Right guard Max Scharping and left tackle Jackson Carman continue to work at their respective positions with Williams and Cappa out all week. Both players, who were at the team’s facilities each day, were unable to train while they recover from their respective injuries.
When asked about his long-term prognosis, Taylor simply replied that they will both continue to be tested on a weekly basis.
Joe Burrow and Alex Cappa, who won’t be able to protect the quarterback against the Buffalo Bills due to injury. Getty
This will be the second game Alex Cappa has missed since suffering a left ankle injury in a Week 18 win over the Baltimore Ravens. Cappa was seen using a scooter and still had a protective boot on his left ankle earlier in the week. Jonah Williams didn’t use any mobility aids when he was seen in the locker room Wednesday after suffering a kneecap injury in last weekend’s win against Baltimore, but Taylor stuck to the diagnosis week by week for Williams.
Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan stressed there are ways players and coaches can help the offensive line against a Buffalo defensive line that ranked 11th in the league in pass rush win rate, a metric from ESPN powered by NFL Next Gen. But when quarterback Joe Burrow’s line is required enough time to hold the ball and make a play downfield, pass protection should suffice.
“It doesn’t really change how we go through our week and how we play,” Callahan said earlier in the week. “We just know that we will have time and place to help guys when they need it.”
Cincinnati and Buffalo will meet in the playoffs for the first time since the 1989 AFC Championship Game, a matchup the Bengals won. Most recently, the two teams met in a Week 17 game that was called off after Buffalo safety Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest after tackling Tee Higgins.
Bengals running back Joe Mixon emphasized that the energy throughout the week has been focused as Cincinnati prepares for Sunday’s game at Buffalo.
“You know what’s at stake,” Mixon said. “The fact that the game is in the playoffs speaks for itself. Everybody says, ‘Great game, great game.’ But this is automatically a great game. It’s the playoffs. It’s win or go home.”