Bengals La'El Collins injury Dec 24, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; Cincinnati Bengals offensive tackle La’el Collins (71) leaves the field on a cart during the first half against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals’ worst fears were realized on Christmas.

Offensive lineman La’el Collins will miss the rest of the season. Collins suffered an awful knee injury in the Bengals’ 22-18 victory over the New England Patriots.

On Christmas, the Bengals and their right tackle received an unfortunate gift. An MRI revealed that he tore both his ACL and MCL.

Bengals reporter Kelsey Conway tweeted on Christmas Day, “After passing the initial ACL on-field exam yesterday, Bengals starting RT La’el Collins underwent an MRI today and it revealed he tore his ACL and MCL. His season is over, recovery is expected to be 7 months, a source tells me.”

This is brutal news for both Collins and for Cincinnati. He had become a staunch player on the line and helped keep quarterback and fellow former LSU standout Joe Burrow clean.

Now, they must trudge on without him as the playoffs loom. And Cincy has a huge game coming up a week from this Monday against the AFC-leading Buffalo Bills.

Collins’ absence means the Bengals must adjust on the fly and hope his replacement keeps the reigning AFC champions a threat this January.

Reactions came from around the NFL world after the news of Collins’ season-ending injury broke.

First, Ari Meirov sent his thoughts, as he tweeted that it was a “key loss” up front for the 2021 AFC Champions.

Then, longtime NFL reporter Mike Garafolo called it “brutal” for the Bengals and noted that head coach Zac Taylor did praise his replacement, Hakeem Adeniji, after his performance in relief.

Additionally, Bears reporter and podcaster Scott Lewis considered it a “massive loss” and that underscored the impact he’s made.

Keagan Stiefel of NESN then noted, “Wherever the Patriots go chaos follows.”

[Kelsey Conway on Twitter]

About Chris Novak

Chris Novak has been talking and writing about sports ever since he can remember. Previously, Novak wrote for and managed sites in the SB Nation network for nearly a decade from 2013-2022