DE Joseph Ossai injured, Noah Spence signed

Joseph Ossai suffered not just a wrist injury in the Cincinnati Bengals’ first preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Aug. 14., he hurt his knee as well. The knee injury is likely to keep the rookie from taking a snap in his first NFL season, per reports.

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero said Ossai is slated to have surgery this week for a meniscus injury. Head coach Zac Talyor confirmed Ossai injured his knee in the same game he was unable to finish due to hurting his wrist. Taylor did not have an official update on the specifics of Ossai’s knee injury and said the team is waiting on more information.

“There’s a couple more days to gather some more information, so I’m not gonna say anything there until it’s definitively one way or another,” Taylor said on Sunday.

If Ossai is unable to play this season, the loss could be significant for the Bengals. After finishing last in the NFL in sacks in 2020 with 17, Cincinnati expected Ossai to come in and make an impact right away. Defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo will have to look to others to replace the production they were hoping to get from him.

Bengals defensive end Joseph Ossai participates in drills during minicamp on Friday. He was selected in the third round of this year's draft.

Ossai, Cincinnati’s third-round pick out of the University of Texas, had arguably one of the best preseason debuts of any rookie in the NFL. In Tampa, Ossai sacked Tom Brady on the Buccaneers’ first drive. He finished the game with five quarterback pressures and three tackles.

With Ossai expected to be unavailable to the Bengals for an undetermined amount of time, the team singed defensive end Noah Spence. The former second-round pick in 2016 was released by the New Orleans Saints last week. Tampa Bay drafted Spence with the No. 38 overall pick. During his three seasons with the Buccaneers, Spence started six games and recorded 6.5 sacks and 14 quarterback hits.

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