The Cincinnati Bengals received some awful summer-break news: First-round pick Jonah Williams will likely miss the entire 2019 season.
The team announced the rookie left tackle underwent left shoulder surgery Tuesday to repair a torn labrum that is likely to sideline him for the entire year. The 21-year-old is expected to make a full recovery, the Bengals added.
Williams sat out minicamp with an injury new coach Zac Taylor described as "dinged up." After seeing the doctor, it turned out much worse for Williams.
"We look forward to Jonah being a major contributor in the future, and know that he won't let this injury deter him from still being an important part of this team," Taylor said in a statement. "We're confident in our offensive line personnel as we head into training camp, and we believe they can do their part in helping this team achieve its goals."
The Alabama product was widely considered the best offensive lineman in the 2019 NFL Draft. When he fell to Cincinnati at No. 11, the Bengals eschewed other options to snatch up the nasty road grader they believed would be the long-term solution to a position they'd struggled at since allowing Andrew Whitworth to walk two years ago.
Injury to the 6-foot-5, 302-pound Williams scuttles the plans for the Bengals offensive line shuffle. Cordy Glenn, who was slated to move inside to guard, will likely return to left tackle. Christian Westerman or nine-year vet John Jerry could battle to take over the guard spot.
Losing rookie first-round picks is sadly becoming an old habit for the Bengals. Last season, center Billy Price missed six games with a foot injury.
If Williams indeed sits the entire season, he will become the eighth first-round pick in the last 10 years to miss his entire first season, per NFL Research, and the second Bengals player in that span.
First-round Picks to Miss Entire Rookie Season in the Last 10 Seasons
NE T Isaiah Wynn, 2018
CIN CB William Jackson, 2016
JAX DE Dante Fowler, 2015
CHI WR Kevin White, 2015
ARI T D.J. Humphries, 2015
BAL WR Breshad Perriman, 2015
ARI G Jonathan Cooper, 2013