With the start of training camps around the league comes a higher probability that players will suffer significant long-term injuries prior to the start of the regular season. On Monday, the Pittsburgh Steelers reportedly lost young cornerback Senquez Golson for an extended amount of time due to a Lisfranc injury and it now appears as though the Cincinnati Bengals have lost one of their young cornerbacks for an extended amount of time as well.
According to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network, Bengals rookie cornerback William Jackson III has suffered a torn pectoral muscle and should that indeed wind up being the case, the first-round draft pick might ultimately wind up missing his entire rookie season.
Bengals first rounder William Jackson suffered a torn pec, source said. Big blow.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) August 2, 2016
With Jackson now sidelined indefinitely, early speculation is that the Bengals will now look to re-sign veteran free agent cornerback Leon Hall, who has spent his entire career in Cincinnati. Hall, however, is already 31 years of age and during the offseason he needed back surgery to repair a disc injury that required epidurals during the 2015 season in order for him to be able to play.
Since the Golson news broke on Tuesday, several Steelers fans are suggesting the team should make a run at Hall. That, however, might not happen as the team might be fine with rookie safety Sean Davis taking over the starting slot corner position being as he was working in that role with the second-team defense since training camp got underway last Friday.
Last year, the Steelers traded a conditional fifth-round draft pick to the Philadelphia Eagles for cornerback Brandon Boykin after it was decided early on in training camp that Golson would miss his entire rookie season due to a shoulder injury. After acquiring Boykin, however, the Steelers only played him sparingly during the first three quarters of the regular season. While he did finally see action as the team’s nickel cornerback late in the year, the Steelers decided his play wasn’t good enough to warrant re-signing him.
Boykin, who is rumored to have a degenerative hip, is not an option now for the Steelers anyway as he recently signed with the Chicago Bears after first signing with the Carolina Panthers and subsequently being released by them earlier in the offseason.
While the Steelers will obviously need to sign another cornerback very soon to help out during training camp now that Golson is injured, the likelihood that player will be one who can start is likely very low. We’ll see.