Bengals’ center Kyle Cook left last week’s preseason game with a foot injury and, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer, he saw a foot specialist on Monday “indications are” he’ll miss a “large amount of time.” In response to this, the Bengals brought in Jeff Faine, formerly of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in for a visit this week as their 2nd string center is Reggie Stephens, a 2010 7th round pick who has never played a snap in the NFL.
Cook had a down year last season after signing a 4 year, 14 million dollar extension last offseason, but he was ProFootballFocus’ 10th rated center in 2011 and he’s overall had a solid career. He’ll definitely be missed, especially if the replacement is Jeff Faine. Faine was released by the Buccaneers in March and tellingly hasn’t made a single other visit this offseason.
Faine is heading into his age 31 season and was ProFootballFocus’ 31st ranked center out of 35 last season, especially struggling as a run blocker. The Bengals have also lost left guard Travelle Wharton for the season and 2011 4th round rookie Clint Boling will start in his absence. He played just 172 snaps last season and really struggled. Injuries on the interior offensive line are yet another reason why the Bengals will regress this season.
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