Report: Bengals lose first-rounder William Jackson to torn pec

William Jackson III
Jun 14, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals cornerback William Jackson (22) looks on during minicamp at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati Bengals rookie cornerback William Jackson has reportedly torn his pectoral muscle, which would likely be a season-ending injury.

The Bengals selected Jackson in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft (No. 24 overall) out of Houston and expected big things from him in his rookie season.

He was a big star for the team during minicamp in June, batting down passes and showing a knack for picking up the team’s defensive concepts.

The injury puts a lot of pressure on second-year corner Darqueze Dennard to step up after missing time last year with a shoulder injury as a rookie. He’s pegged as the third cornerback right now and is expected to man the slot in nickel packages.

Perhaps this injury might open the door for veteran free agent cornerback Leon Hall to return to the fold. He’s still available and knows Cincinnati’s system.

If that’s not an option, then the Bengals will have to some of their other young players can step up in Jackson’s absence.