Sneaky-good Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Marvin Jones who caught 10 touchdown passes, along with 51 catches for 712 yards in his second NFL season in 2013, will be out "a few weeks," per head coach Marvin Lewis, after Jones broke the fifth metatarsal in his foot.
But a few weeks would appear to be a very optimistic timeline.
Historically, those are 4-8-week injuries, depending on the severity. Even if Jones was a remarkably fast healer, or the injury wasn't considered serious, his availability for the start of the regular season would be in some doubt.
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The Bengals open at the Baltimore Ravens before returning home for the next two games against the Atlanta Falcons and Tennessee Titans. Week 4 is a bye for the Bengals, so it will be interesting to see if Jones will play in any of those first three games or whether the team will play safe with him.
Jones had just been cleared to practice last week, having battled a nagging ankle injury since the spring, when he suffered the foot injury on Saturday during the team scrimmage.
The team's wide receiver depth is solid with A.J. Green, Mohamed Sanu, Dane Sanzenbacher, Brandon Tate, Ryan Whalen and seventh-round pick James Wright. Tate has spoken recently about knowing he must produce in camp and preseason to convince the team to keep him on the roster, but Jones' injury might have given him a brief stay of execution.
The Bengals also have very good depth in the offensive backfield, as well as at tight end, with Jermaine Gresham and Tyler Eifert likely to run together in some two-tight-end formations.
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