On Friday, head coach Zac Taylor announced that Atkins would miss Week 3 due to his shoulder injury, which apparently happened in the team’s final training camp scrimmage.
Zac Taylor on Geno Atkins: “He feels better every day, just not quite ready to play in a game yet.”
Taylor added that Atkins injured his shoulder during a team scrimmage in training camp. #Bengals
— Tyler Dragon (@TheTylerDragon) September 25, 2020
Atkins did get in some individual work today, so he’s at least made some practice, though the injury report says he did not practice. The fact that Atkins will have missed three games without practicing fully for almost a month is very concerning and could signal the injury was pretty significant. The team hasn’t placed him on injured reserve, which is easier to overcome this year since players only have to stay on it for three weeks before being eligible to return to the 53-man roster.
Hopefully, this is an injury that will eventually heal, but it’s hard not to wonder if it’s something that could require surgery if he doesn’t fully return to practice soon. It also makes you worry if he’ll be back to his Pro Bowl self when he returns or if it will limit his effectiveness.
The good news for Cincinnati this week is Atkins’ backup, Mike Daniels, is expected to play after missing Week 2 with a groin injury. The Bengals desperately need a win Sunday to avoid an 0-3 start that could set the stage for another long, losing season for the Bengals.