The Cincinnati Bengals suffered a huge blow on Tuesday as it was announced by the team that their first-round draft pick this year, tackle Jonah Williams, will likely miss the entire 2019 season due to a torn labrum in his left shoulder that he suffered that required surgery to repair.
Williams, who played his college football at Alabama, was drafted 11th overall by the Bengals this year and he was expected to be their starting left tackle in 2019. The drafting of Williams resulted in Cordy Glenn, who was the Bengals starting left tackle last season, being moved inside to left guard during the team’s offseason practices. With Williams now likely lost for the entire 2019 season, Glenn will likely be asked to move back to left tackle, a position he struggled at in 2018 after being acquired during the 2018 offseason from the Buffalo Bills via a trade.
Assuming Glenn does move back to tackle, it will be interesting to see which player ultimately wins the starting left guard position for the Bengals. Last season Clint Boling manned that spot but didn’t play overly well and he’s reportedly currently dealing with an unknown injury that reportedly kept him sidelined this offseason. Christian Westerman, who has made two NFL starts in his three seasons with the Bengals, figures to compete for the left guard spot along with John Jerry, formerly of the New York Giants.
The Bengals have had a lot of bad luck when it comes to overall health and their first-round draft picks. Last season, center Billy Price missed six games with a foot injury. Wide receiver John Ross, the Bengals first-round selection in 2017, missed most of his rookie season with knee and shoulder injuries and cornerback William Jackson III, Cincinnati’s first-round selection in 2016, missed his entire rookie season with a torn pec. In 2015, tackle Cedric Ogbuehi, the Bengals first-round draft pick that year, had the first part of rookie season lost to an ACL injury.
The Bengals will now likely place Williams on their Reserve/PUP list and hope that he can miraculously return much later in the season. Williams reportedly suffered his torn labrum during the final week of OTA practices.
The Pittsburgh Steelers will play the Bengals in Weeks 4 and 12 of the 2019 regular season. The Bengals are currently the odds-on-favorites to finish last in the AFC North in 2019 under first-year head coach Zac Taylor.