Rams & Bengals Injury Updates Ahead Of Super Bowl
Both the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Rams hope to have key pieces of their offenses back in time for Super Bowl LVI in two weeks.
In Sunday’s AFC Championship Game, Bengals tight end C.J. Uzomah had to be carted off after suffering knee injury. But there’s a chance he’ll be able to suit up for the big game at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California.
Per ESPN’s Ben Baby, Bengals head coach Zach Taylor said tests on Uzomah’s knee were “encouraging.” Taylor believes it’s a sprained MCL for Uzomah, and there’s hope that he’ll be able to play against the Rams.
In their NFC Championship win over the San Francisco 49ers, the Rams lost stalwart tight end Tyler Higbee to a knee injury. But per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Higbee “appears to have avoided any significant damage.”
Like Uzomah, there’s a chance that Higbee will be able to play in the Super Bowl.
The Rams are currently listed as a 4.5-point favorite over the Bengals. Using the best Sports Betting Apps, NFL fans can redeem the best promo codes and make up to $1,000 in risk-free bets.
Bengals Designated As Home Team
The Rams will be just the second team in history to play a Super Bowl game inside their own stadium, joining last year’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Although the Rams will have home field advantage here, the Bengals are officially the home team. The Super Bowl “home team” alternates between the AFC And NFC every year. Last year, the Buccaneers were deemed the home club against the Kansas City Chiefs, whom they defeated 31-9 at Raymond James Stadium.
This will be the Bengals’ first Super Bowl appearance since the 1988 season. In Super Bowl 23, the Bengals lost on a last-minute Joe Montana touchdown strike to John Taylor.
Zac Taylor On Working For Sean McVay
Taylor’s success with McVay in Los Angeles helped him land the Bengals’ head coaching position in 2019. The franchise had parted ways with Marvin Lewis after 16 years on the job.
Taylor joined McVay’s coaching staff in La La Land in 2017, serving as an assistant wide receivers coach. In 2018, he was promoted to quarterbacks coach, and Taylor’s work with Goff was instrumental in helping the Rams reach Super Bowl LIII.
Three years later, Taylor and McVay will fittingly square off for football’s ultimate prize.
Taylor only had nice things to say about his former boss when speaking to reporters on Monday.
“Working for Sean was the best two years of my life,” Taylor said, via Marissa Contipelli of the Bengals’ team website. “ It was fun, you loved coming into the building.”
The Rams and Bengals traveled down far different paths to reach Super Bowl LVI.
Under 2016 first overall pick Jared Goff, the Rams enjoyed four straight winning seasons (2017 to 2020), two division titles, three playoff berths and a trip to Super Bowl LIII.
But head coach Sean McVay believed that his offense was a simple quarterback upgrade away from reaching a whole new level. One week before last year’s Super Bowl, the Rams traded Goff, a 2021 third-rounder and their 2022 and 2023 first-rounders to the Detroit Lions in exchange for Stafford.
The 2014 Pro Bowler pieced together an MVP-caliber season, guiding the Rams to 12 wins and a division title.
The star-studded Rams, who haven’t used a first-round pick since 2016, gambled on the likes of Stafford, Von Miller and Jalen Ramsey in blockbuster trades. And they have all paid off handsomely.
As for the Bengals, they weren’t even supposed to make the playoffs in 2021. Joe Burrow was coming off surgery on a torn ACL and MCL. The defense had plenty of holes, and the offensive line remained a giant question mark.
But Burrow, Joe Mixon and Ja’Marr Chase fronted an explosive offensive juggernaut. The defense enjoyed a spectacular turnaround thanks to phenomenal seasons from the likes of Trey Hendrickson and Logan Wilson.
The Bengals were this year’s Cinderella team. Nobody gave them a chance to make the playoffs, let alone win the AFC North.
But this group, reminiscent of the 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers, 2007 New York Giants and 2010 Green Bay Packers, has clicked on all cylinders at the perfect time. Now, we’ll see if they can join those three clubs as one of the more unlikely Super Bowl winners in NFL history.