Ask any NFL coach—losing an offensive line anchor can be devastating, especially two weeks before the regular season.
Due to Cook being sidelined for what Cincinnati Enquirer Bengals' beat writer Joe Reedy described as "a large amount of time," the team has to develop a new emergency and act accordingly before the season-opening showdown with the Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football September 10.
There are a few different directions the Bengals could go in regards to finding Cook's replacement.
Bengals sign Jeff Faine to one-year deal: profootball.scout.com/2/1216050.html— Aaron Wilson (@RavensInsider) August 29, 2012
While Faine is a wily nine-year veteran, he'll have the difficult task of learning Cincinnati's blocking schemes and becoming the key communicator across the offensive line in a limited time.
In a recent discussion with Joe Goodberry of CincyJungle.com, he explained what Cook meant to the Bengals offense over the last three seasons:
"[The] Bengals used Cook to call and understand every blocking assignment and battle the AFC North nose tackles one on one. Cook plays more one on one than most centers."
Faine's certainly capable of being the offensive line's quarterback, but he'll undoubtedly need to spend a great deal of practice time getting on the same page with his fellow offensive linemen and second-year signal caller Andy Dalton.
At least with Faine, Cincinnati won't be forced to implement mass positional shifting along their offensive front. Clint Bolin can stay at his traditional left guard spot and Trevor Robinson can remain an interior offensive line backup.
Especially to start the season, when they face Haloti Ngata, the Bengals may have to tweak their game plan and blocking scheme to aid Faine's acclimation process.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis could be the Bengals player hurt the most to begin the year.
Cook's injury is far from ideal for Cincinnati, but with the acquisition of Faine they've done the necessary patchwork that won't stop them from drastically falling short of expectations in 2012.