Leon Hall appeared to realize he had suffered a serious injury immediately after it happened on Sunday in Detroit. Hall broke up a pass intended for Calvin Johnson in the end zone, but immediately limped to the Cincinnati sideline. There, he began crying as trainers helped him onto a cart.
The Bengals announced that Hall would miss the remainder of the game with a right Achilles injury. Hall missed the latter portion of the 2011 season with a torn left Achilles. (Update: CBS' Jason La Canfora reported Sunday night that Hall tore his Achilles again, ending his year.)
A repeat of that injury would be a devastating blow both to the Bengals defense and to the 28-year-old cornerback. Hall worked his way back onto the field for 14 games in 2012, reclaiming his spot this year as the team's top corner -- his role defending Johnson early in Week 7 was proof of that.
Hall's absence will put more pressure on Terence Newman (who drew Johnson in coverage on Detroit's next series) and 2012 first-round pick Dre Kirkpatrick, as well as veteran Adam Jones. Kirkpatrick, especially, could be asked to take on a much larger role. Hampered by his own injury issues, the second-year CB had seen just 14 snaps of action on defense through Cincinnati's first six games.
The Bengals certainly will be crossing their fingers that Hall's latest setback was more of a scary moment for him than a major injury, though their immediate declaration that Hall would miss the remainder of the game against Detroit does not bode well. Hall has been one of the more underrated corners in football, when healthy, which is why Cincinnati felt compelled to hand him a $42 million contract just prior to 2011.
However, Hall has been dealt some tough luck since then, and misfortune struck again Sunday.