Leon Hall sat on a Gatorade bucket with tears in his eyes as his teammates came over one by one to offer support and condolences after he suffered an Achilles injury that is likely to be season ending.
“You go to the sideline and find out what happened, and I lost it,” cornerback Terence Newman said. “And I know Reggie (Nelson) said he lost it. To have one of the best corners in the league go down, it’s tough, especially when he’s your brother. It just sucks.”
The injury occurred in the first quarter of the Bengals’ 27-24 win in Detroit. Hall was in coverage on a pass to Calvin Johnson in the end zone, and following an awkward step with his right foot, he crumpled to the ground and appeared to know right away how bad it was.
He suffered the same injury to his left Achilles in 2011, ending his season with four games remaining. Hall rehabbed the entire offseason and made it back in time for the 2012 opener.
“When I first got here, I saw how hard he was working to get back,” Nelson said. “And now to know that he has to go through all of that again, my heart goes out to him. It’s a big blow. Once Leon went down, we knew what we had to do and who we were playing for out there.”
One of the first players to approach Hall was left tackle Andrew Whitworth.
“I knew how emotional he was,” Whitworth said. “I knew how upset he was. It was hard for me as well. It’s hard to hold that emotion in when it’s a friend of yours and knowing how much it means to them.
“Leon will bounce back.,” he continued. “He has as good of character and is as hard of a worker as there is in the National Football League. He’ll be back and we’ll be behind him all the way through whatever the process.”
Rey Maualuga, Devon Still, Marvin Jones, Wallace Gilberry and Nelson also suffered injuries. Neither Maualuga nor Still returned, but Lewis said Still (elbow) is the only one expected to miss time, saying it could be a couple of games.
Line leaders: Facing one of the best defensive lines in the league, the Cincinnati Bengals offensive line didn’t let the Detroit Lions get to Andy Dalton for more than 58 minutes Sunday.
Ndamukong Suh registered the only sack of the day on the first play after the two-minute warning, and the Lions only hit Dalton two other times.
“We put a lot of faith and trust in those guys, and they came to play today,” Dalton said of his line.
“That was a great pass-rushing group,” Whitworth said. “They get a lot of pressure on people. To come here and play well is definitely important.”
Multiple milestones: A.J. Green’s first catch of the game was the 200th of his career, and his second-longest. The 82-yard touchdown also was the longest of quarterback Andy Dalton’s career.
The two hooked up six times for 155 yards, sending Green over the 3,000-yard mark for his career as well. He has 205 catches for 3,026 yards in 38 games.
In addition to setting a career high with a 135.9 passer rating, Dalton threw for three more touchdowns to mark the first time in his career he has thrown at least three in back-to-back games. He also threw for 372 yards, which was the third-highest total of his career. And combined with the 337 he threw for last week, the 709-yard total is his highest ever two-game total.
Streak snapped: Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford completed 28-of-51 passes for 357 yards, snapping the Bengals’ streak of 21 consecutive games without allowing a 300-yard passer.
The last quarterback to do it before Stafford was Cleveland’s Brandon Weeden, who had 322 yards in Week 2 last year.