Bengals' Joe Mixon needs minor surgery on his knee, will miss at least one game

The Bengals' win over the Ravens on Thursday night might've been costly. Twice during the game, second-year running back Joe Mixon suffered a knee injury that briefly took him off the field. He later described it as "some weird tweak." 

On Friday, more information about that injury surfaced. It's not good news, but it's not the worst-case scenario either.

According to CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora, Mixon will have a "minor scope this weekend to remove a small particle from his knee." He's out at least one game, but maybe more as he looks at a two-week recovery.

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero and Mike Garofolo were the first to report that the Bengals feared Mixon would need surgery while ESPN's Adam Schefter was the first to report that the surgery has been scheduled for Saturday.

Mixon, who fell to the second round in last year's draft after he punched a woman in college, has looked like a future star through the first two games of the new season. He's carried the ball 38 times for 179 yards (4.7 yards per carry) and a touchdown while adding 57 yards on six catches, building off a rookie season that saw him rack up 913 yards from scrimmage in 14 games. Coming into the season, Mixon was projected to take the leap from promising to great, and he looked the part in the first two games.

It's a huge loss for the Bengals, but they do at least have a more than capable backup in Giovani Bernard. A second-round pick back in 2013, Bernard's totaled 5,011 yards and 24 touchdowns from scrimmage in his career. In the win over the Ravens, he picked up 27 yards on six carries and 15 yards on four receptions. He might not be a future star like Mixon, but he's dependable. Mark Walton, the team's fourth-round pick out of Miami, could also be in line for some reps behind Bernard.

Fantasy-wise, Bernard will become a must-add player for the duration of Mixon's recovery.

The Bengals do at least get 10 days off until their Week 3 contest against the Panthers. After that, they've got games against the Falcons, Dolphins, Steelers, Chiefs, and Buccaneers until their Week 9 bye. If Mixon misses only one game, he could be back in time for the game against the Falcons on Sept. 30. More importantly, even if he misses more than one game, he'll likely be back for a divisional showdown against the Steelers a couple week later.

After starting the season 2-0, the Bengals have built a small advantage in the AFC North over the Ravens (1-1), Steelers, and Browns (both 0-0-1), but injuries might matter more than their lead in the division. In addition to losing Mixon, the Bengals also lost rookie center Billy Price to a sprained ankle and defensive end Michael Johnson to a sprained MCL during Thursday's win.

CBS Sports Writer

Sean Wagner-McGough joined CBS Sports in 2015 after graduating from UC Berkeley. A native of Seattle, Sean now resides in the Bay Area. He spends his spare time defending Jay Cutler on Twitter. Full Bio

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