The AFC North leading Cincinnati Bengals dropped to 6-3 on the season Thursday night with their 22-20 overtime loss to the Miami Dolphins and more importantly, they may have lost their two-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Geno Atkins for the season as well.
After the game, Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said Atkins might have torn the ACL in his right knee in the loss. If indeed that winds up being the case, Atkins will be lost for the rest of the season.
Atkins stands to be the second key defensive player that the Bengals have lost to a season-ending injury in just a matter of just a few weeks as cornerback Leon Hall suffered an Achilles tear a few weeks ago against the Detroit Lions.
Atkins, who entered the game with 18 total tackles and five sacks, won't be easily replaced. Second-year defensive tackle Brandon Thompson figures to be the next man up as he took over for Atkins once he left the game.
The Bengals next two games are in the division as they will play the Baltimore Ravens and the Cleveland Browns before their Week 12 Bye.
The Bengals loss Thursday night will give the Pittsburgh Steelers a chance to make up a game in the win column Sunday against the New England Patriots. It's a must-win game for the Steelers if they want to have any chance of crawling back into the division race.