Hubbard left in the second quarter of Sunday’s 34-23 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was eventually ruled out, leaving Cincinnati without one of its best pass rushers. While an exact timetable for Hubbard’s absence is still unclear, a source said the team remains hopeful he can return by the end of the regular season.
Hubbard has started all 14 games for the Bengals this season, including Sunday’s road win at Raymond James Stadium. He leads the team with 6.5 sacks.
That leaves Cincinnati without its top two edge rushers. Defensive end Trey Hendrickson missed Sunday’s game with a right wrist injury. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, Hendrickson is expected to return for the postseason.
Cincinnati ranks 30th in the NFL in total sacks with 22. Hubbard and Hendrickson have combined for 12.5 of those. But despite the high sack total, the Bengals’ defense has played an integral role in Cincinnati’s success this season.
On Sunday against Tampa Bay, the defense forced four turnovers on as many drives, which allowed the Bengals to erase a 17-0 deficit, beat Tampa Bay and stretch its winning streak to six games.
“Guys just stepped up at every position,” Bengals coach Zac Taylor said after the game. This is the type of year where you’re going to lose some guys. So, guys need to step up and keep the team going.”
NFL Network first reported on the extent of Hubbard’s injury.
Bengals hope Sam Hubbard can return by end of season