TUESDAY, 7:09pm: Billings will in fact miss the entire 2016 season, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.
MONDAY, 12:14pm: Bengals rookie defensive tackle Andrew Billings underwent knee surgery today for a torn meniscus and is out indefinitely, a source tells Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The injury could rule Billings out for the entire 2016 season.
As shown on Roster Resource, the Bengals were planning on using Billings as their primary backup at nose tackle behind Domata Peko. Former Raider Pat Sims now presumably moves up a spot on the depth chart and the team could also look out-of-house for defensive line help as defensive tackle Brandon Thompson recovers from his knee injury.
In July, scouting expert Dave-Te Thomas told PFR that Billings was poised to make a big impact for Cincinnati this season:
Lightning may have struck the Bengals twice at the nose guard position. Back in 2010, a stout interior defender was not regarded as highly by general managers as their scouts. As luck would have it, the Bengals took a chance in the fourth round that year and found Geno Atkins. Now, six years later, they might have found the player who could replace Peko at nose tackle, perhaps as early as next year. If Billings proves to be starter material in training camp, the front office might be comfortable with letting Peko go elsewhere after this season.
The Bengals haven’t had the best of luck with their 2016 rookie class. Earlier this month, first-round cornerback William Jackson III suffered a torn pectoral muscle that could cost him a big chunk of the season.
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