Trae Waynes Facing Lengthy Absence

Injuries have defined Trae Waynes‘ Cincinnati stay, and the veteran cornerback’s most recent issue stands to keep him out a while. Already on IR with a hamstring problem, Waynes is facing an extended absence.

Zac Taylor said Friday that Waynes will not need to undergo surgery for his troublesome hamstring, via The Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr. (on Twitter), but the third-year Bengals HC does not expect the team’s top cornerback investment to be back after missing the minimum three games. An extended IR stay is likely for Waynes.

This is certainly not new ground for the former first-round pick. Waynes missed all of 2020 because of a torn pec. This year, a hamstring pull kept him out of the Bengals’ first three games. Waynes subsequently aggravated his hamstring in Week 5, leading to an IR trip.

The Bengals signed Waynes to a three-year, $42MM deal in March 2020. This price proved somewhat surprising at the time, given Waynes’ performance to that point, but the ex-Vikings starter had stayed mostly healthy in Minnesota. The 29-year-old cover man has played just two games with Cincinnati, however.

Since signing Waynes, the Bengals have been busy at corner. They added Chidobe Awuzie and slot defender Mike Hilton this offseason and recently claimed multiyear Seahawks starter Tre Flowers. The Bengals have made notable improvements defensively this season, after two bad years to start the Taylor regime. Cincinnati enters Week 7 fifth in scoring defense.

Waynes is attached to an $8.4MM base salary this season; that number climbs to $10.4MM in 2022. The Bengals are on the hook for Waynes’ prorated signing bonus ($5MM) next year but could save $11MM by making the seven-year vet a cap casualty.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

View Comments (1)