The Cincinnati Bengals punched their ticket to the AFC Championship on Saturday with a last-second win over the Tennessee Titans, but didn't come out of the victory completely unscathed. Down the stretch, star pass-rusher Trey Hendrickson was forced to leave the game with an apparent injury.
Thankfully for the Bengals, head coach Zac Taylor thinks that 2021 Pro Bowler will be good to go moving forward.
Bengals DE Trey Hendrickson should be fine after yesterday's game, Zac Taylor said.
— Ben Baby (@Ben_Baby) January 23, 2022
">According to ESPN's Ben Baby, Taylor said in his Sunday afternoon press conference that Hendrickson should be "fine" after yesterday's win. The news is a welcome update for Cincinnati, considering the 27-year-old defensive end wasn't on the field for most of the team's final defensive possession.
With less than two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Hendrickson appeared to get banged-up following an attempt to get to Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill. He got tangled up with a Tennessee offensive lineman and emerged from the play with an apparent arm injury.
Hendrickson went to the sidelines and into the Bengals' injury tent and did not return for the rest of the drive. Cincinnati intercepted a Tannehill pass later in the drive to set up the game-winning field goal from rookie kicker Evan McPherson.
Hendrickson had just one tackle and one hit on the Titans quarterback in Saturday's game, just a week after entering the league's concussion protocol in the Bengals Wild Card game against the Las Vegas Raiders. He cleared the protocol just before this weekend's game, giving Cincinnati's defensive front a huge boost.
After four years with the New Orleans Saints, Hendrickson had his best professional season in 2021 with the Bengals. In 16 regular season games, he racked up 14 sacks along with three forced fumbles.
There's no doubt that Cincinnati's pass-rush is tougher to deal with when Hendrickson is in the line-up. If everything goes well this week, the Bengals will hope to put him on the field in next Sunday's AFC Conference Championship Game.