August 1, 2014

Sanu’s Mysterious Injury

With no accompanying details, Geoff Hobson and Joe Reedy both reported on Thursday that Mohamed Sanu suffered a “foot injury” during the day’s practice, limiting his participate. We have no idea at this point if the injury will prevent him from playing on Sunday or if it could even land him on IR. Hopefully neither are the case.

With four TD catches in the past three games, Sanu has made himself a real threat of late. If he cannot play in San Diego, what does it mean for the Bengals offense?

I was excited about Sanu when the Bengals drafted him. With his recent emergence, Green and Sanu could be the most potent WR pairing that the Bengals have had since Johnson and Houshmandzadeh. Maybe better. But if Sanu is unavailable on Sunday, I expect the Bengals to simply find another way to get it done in the passing game.

A.J. Green. He’s still the razor edge to the knife, slicing up secondaries in a way that makes Ginsu “green” with envy. (Go ahead, groan, it was a bad pun.) The Chargers, like everyone else, will be forced to roll extra coverage his way. And as the Raiders so aptly demonstrated, even that may not be enough to get the job done. As Steve Tasker said, “Even when he’s not open, he’s open!”

Jermaine Gresham. Gresham seems to finally be finding his inner beast that we all knew was lurking somewhere in the shadows. He looks like the game has slowed down enough for him now that he can own the middle of the field when he is given his chance. And wouldn’t we all love to see him run through another safety this week?

Andrew Hawkins. The fan favorite has struggled to get healthy, but he is finally back on the practice field. Baby Hawk uses quickness and shiftiness instead of size and soft hands, but he will fill the same needs that Sanu was without missing a thing. It will be interesting to see how playing time is split between these two if/when both ready to go at the same time.

Marvin Jones. Jones is the wrinkle that the Chargers won’t be ready for. How can they scheme against what they have barely seen? He will give Dalton a new punch to throw that the Chargers may not be ready for.

Don’t read this to mean that it doesn’t matter if Sanu can’t play. I’d rather he could. But in just three games, he has not exactly become indispensable, either. Especially with two gifted guys set to return.

It’s funny, but for all of the talking we fans did about the needs for a solid #2 WR, the Bengals have managed to do alright without one. And the two front runners of the off-season have been the least productive of the squad. Who’d have thought?


UPDATE: PFT’s Michael David Smith reports that Sanu has a stress fracture that will require surgery and may well shut down the emerging threat for the remainder of the season.