The Cincinnati Bengals have avoided the injury bug for the most part in the regular season and against the Las Vegas Raiders on Saturday afternoon at Paul Brown Stadium, their luck changed.
After combining for one of the best plays in the 26-19 win, both defensive end Trey Hendrickson and defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi left the game with injuries and were unable to return.
Hendrickson's strip-sack on Raiders' quarterback Derek Carr in the first quarter resulted in three points for the Bengals. Ogunjobi recovered the fumble and helped set the tone for the game.
'Germaine saved us'::The story of the biggest play in Paul Brown Stadium history
On Sunday, Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said Hendrickson has entered the NFL's concussion protocol and his status is undetermined at this time for Cincinnati's next playoff game.
Ogunjobi has a foot injury and it looks more severe as he was seen riding on a scooter greeting his teammates by the locker room following the game. Reserve defensive tackle Mike Daniels also suffered a groin injury in the game.
Here's what Taylor had to say about Ogunjobi, Daniels and Hendrickson:
"Larry has a foot injury and we’ll keep assessing that over the next 24 hours to determine what the severity is there," Taylor said. "Mike Daniels is not looking like he’ll be back. Trey will be in concussion protocol."
As for what Hendrickson needs to get out of concussion protocol and return to the field, Taylor says there is a process in place Cincinnati's training staff will put Hendrickson through. If he's able to clear, he would be available to play in the divisional round. There's no set amount of days a player has to be sidelined when entering the concussion protocol.
"It’s really a daily thing, the process will start on Tuesday him getting cleared and then he’s got to do physical activities and get back to contact practice," Taylor said. "There’s certainly enough time in the week to get that done if he’s feeling up to it and clear day-to-day."
Hendrickson's importance in defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo's defense can't be understated. He's the Bengals' best player on the defensive side of the ball and his presence allows defensive Sam Hubbard more opportunities to get pressure on opponents' quarterbacks because of the attention Hendrickson often receives. Hendrickson recorded 14 sacks in the regular season. They very much work together and their success as a duo is a key reason for Cincinnati's success on defense.
The Bengals don't know who they'll face in the next round at the moment. They do know it will be a road game, though. Cincinnati will either travel to Nashville to take on the Tennessee Titans or Buffalo for a matchup against the Bills. If the Steelers upset the Chiefs, the Bengals would face the Bills. If the Chiefs win, Cincinnati will face the Titans.
Taylor says as a coaching staff they picked one team to prepare for and if it changes, they'll adjust. He also said they are preparing to play on Saturday. The NFL has not set the schedule for the divisional round.
The Bengals won't begin practice until Tuesday this week and there's a chance the injury list could be pretty long.
Wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase hinted he needed to get healthy before the next game following the win and it's not uncommon for starters to sit out the first day of the practice week for rest. Slot cornerback Mike Hilton also suffered an injury but was able to re-enter the game.