One of the best players in the NFL will miss his team’s season opener on Sunday. Geno Atkins, a stalwart at defensive tackle for the Cincinnati Bengals, is being hampered by a shoulder injury, and will not play against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Atkins has reached the Pro Bowl in eight of his 10 NFL seasons. The last time he didn’t receive that honor was in 2013, when he suffered a torn ACL. That was also the last time that he missed a game for Cincinnati.
Last season’s 47-tackle, 4.5 sack season was a very down year for Atkins, after averaging 10 sacks per season from 2015-18. Hopefully this setback doesn’t wind up being a major setback.
Safety Shawn Williams will also be out for Cincinnati due to a calf issue. The veteran safety is also a major contributor for the team, leading the defense with 114 tackles in 2019. The Chargers have their own injury issues on offense, making Sunday’s game a real test of depth for both teams.
Geno Atkins (shoulder) and Shawn Williams (calf) are both out for Sunday. It’s the first game Atkins has missed a game since tearing his ACL in 2013. It will be the first game Williams has missed since 2017. LeShaun Sims is doubtful (personal). Everyone else is expected to play.
— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) September 11, 2020
Hopefully for Bengals fans, this news won’t mar what should be an otherwise exciting Week 1. No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow will start at quarterback, ringing in what fans hope is a new era for the team.
Cincinnati was also pretty active this offseason, adding pieces to the defense. Former Green Bay Packers star Mike Daniels was added to play defensive line alongside Geno Atkins. The team also shelled out to bring on DJ Reader, Trae Waynes, Josh Bynes and Vonn Bell for a combined $115 million oin contracts.
The Cincinnati Bengals host the L.A. Chargers at 4:05 p.m. ET on Sunday afternoon.
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