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Jermaine Gresham Injury: Chemistry with Andy Dalton Is Only Cause for Concern

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Jermaine Gresham Injury: Chemistry with Andy Dalton Is Only Cause for Concern
Larry French/Getty Images

Jermaine Gresham's knee injury isn't serious.

The only real reason it'll be an issue at all is if the Cincinnati Bengals have to hold their star tight end out of practice as a precautionary measure. Gresham and Andy Dalton need to continue growing together in Jay Gruden's offensive system, and any time missed at this point in both of their careers is costly. 

According to

Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said after the 24-19 win that tight end Jermaine Gresham was fine. When Gresham walked off the field he said he was fine and thought he could play next week, but he doesn't know what the team will decide to do.

Tight ends are a young quarterback's best friend—especially ones like Gresham (6'5", 260 pounds) who tower over middle linebackers and safeties.

Jay Gruden ran a pretty balanced offense in 2011, calling 535 passing plays to 455 running plays. This approach allowed Dalton to become an effective passer in play-action scenarios. Unfortunately, he and Gresham didn't hit on as many passes as they could have, though you could hardly call their first season together a failure. 

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Going forward, Gresham is going to be as important to Dalton's growth as A.J. Green and the team's running game. If he can stay healthy, it's not out of the question for Gresham to haul in 75 passes and 10 touchdowns a year. He has the size, speed, strength and hands to become a Pro-Bowl-caliber player.

In order for Gresham to become that kind of impact player, though, he needs to stay healthy and get as many reps in with Dalton as humanly possible. 

Let's hope he can get back onto the practice field soon, so that he and Dalton can continue to build the chemistry they need to become an elite duo that rivals that of Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates.


Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78

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