The Cincinnati Bengals endured a big setback early in training camp with news that first-round draft pick William Jackson III suffered a torn pec in practice, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network.
Luckily for the Bengals, Jackson wasn't a player the team was likely to rely on during his rookie season and the plan was always to bring him along slowly while veterans like Adam Jones, Dre Kirkpatrick and Darqueze Dennard handle most of the coverage duties.
Still, losing a first-round pick is bad news. Torn pectoral muscles typically take months to come back from, so it's possible that suffering one in August could mean Jackson's rookie season is over before it ever began. A few days after the injury occurred, Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis confirmed that Jackson will undergo surgery and still has a chance to play later in the season:
Bengals coach Marvin Lewis says rookie CB William Jackson will have surgery to reattach pec muscle, and that he could return this season.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) August 4, 2016
If he is able to return from the injury it will likely be after an extended stay on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list or the injured reserve with a designation to return.
Jackson climbed up the draft boards as an unknown prospect who quickly solidified himself as one of the top defensive backs in the class during the pre-draft process. Pro Football Focus is especially optimistic about Jackson's chances at succeeding in the NFL, even naming him the seventh-best offseason addition on a list that includes free agent acquisitions:
"William Jackson missed only five-of-52 [tackles] in college a year ago. The former Houston Cougar's physicality and exceptional coverage skills make him a good candidate for immediate success."
For now, the Bengals are down a man in the secondary and will likely have to add some talent to the group. Although former Cincinnati cornerback Leon Hall signed with the New York Giants, veteran Donte Whitner is still a free agent and is another player the team has had rumored interest in.