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La’el Collins injury update should have Joe Burrow, Bengals in panic mode

La'el Collins, Joe Burrow, Bengals

The Cincinnati Bengals are off to a putrid start to the 2022 NFL season, and much of their struggles start with the offensive line. While they were hoping to see some improvements in Week 3, those hopes may have been dashed following a worrying La’el Collins injury update. Via ESPN’s Ben Baby, the Bengals’ offensive lineman was not participating at the start of Thursday’s practice after missing Wednesday’s session with a back injury.

While Collins has struggled in his first year with the Bengals, it’s hard to say the team would feel more optimistic with any of their backup options.

If Collins is unable to suit up vs. the Jets on Sunday, the Bengals will have to choose between D’Ante Smith and Hakeem Adenji to take his place. Isaiah Prince is on IR so he would not be available to replace Collins if he’s inactive.

La’el Collins signed with the Bengals this offseason on a three-year, $21 million deal. So far, it hasn’t paid dividends for the Bengals, as Burrow has been sacked a league-high 13 times. Obviously, the team is desperate to reduce the frequency in which Burrow is under pressure, but not having Collins against the Jets could make that more difficult to achieve.

While Burrow refused to throw his offensive line under the bus, the update on Collins’ back injury will certainly have the star quarterback feeling less optimistic about his chances on Sunday. Collins will have a few days to continue resting up his back, but if he doesn’t get back to practice soon his chances of playing against the Jets will be slim.