Rodney Anderson is likely out for the season and his career might be done before it started. The Cincinnati Bengals rookie running back has reportedly torn the ACL in his right knee, less than a year after suffering the same injury while at Oklahoma. Obviously that’s terrible news and his career may be over.
The Bengals selected Anderson in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL Draft, hoping he could work into their running back rotation this year. The 22-year-old looked good in the preseason and was likely going to fit in behind Joe Mixon and Giovanni Bernard on the depth chart. But Anderson was forced from Thursday night’s preseason finale with a leg injury. It was later revealed to be a torn ACL.
Anderson has battled serious injuries since his time at Oklahoma. He played just two games during his freshman year before suffering a season-ending broken leg. Then just before the 2016 season he suffered a neck injury that sidelined him for a year. Then as a junior he broke out, rushing for 1,161 yards and 13 touchdowns on 188 carries (6.2 ypc). In the 2018 Rose Bowl, he starred for the Sooners, rushing for 201 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries in a losing effort against Georgia.
He was shaping up to be a big part of Oklahoma’s offense in 2018 but played in just two games before tearing his ACL. Anderson made the decision to turn pro after all of those injures, and entered the NFL draft hoping to catch on with someone. Thanks to his size (6-feet, 224 pounds) and natural instincts, the Bengals snagged him with the 211th pick.
Anderson had looked good in camp and was working his way up the team’s depth chart when he suffered yet another devastating knee injury. Quite frankly, two ACL tears in the same knee likely signals the end of his football career. It would be extremely difficult for an NFL team to justify paying him now given his injury history.
That’s the sad reality of playing running back in the NFL and it’s the reason backs have to take advantage and get paid when they can.