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Cincinnati Bengals lose four starters vs. New York Jets

The first goal in preseason games: avoid injuries. By that measure, the first 20 minutes of the Cincinnati Bengals' 17-6 victory over the New York Jets was a disaster for the orange and black.

1. Starting guard Travelle Wharton was carted off the field with an apparent right knee injury. He will not return. It didn't look good.

2. Middle linebacker Rey Maualuga had to be helped off the field with a right knee injury. He was seen standing on the sideline.

3. Defensive end Carlos Dunlap left with a right knee injury. He was taken to the locker room and isn't expected to return to the game.

4. That all happened in the first five minutes. To start the second quarter, safety Taylor Mays left the game after taking a hit to the head. His return was questionable, but he looked very dazed.

In short, four starters were lost in very short order. The Bengals' defense is known for its depth, but they don't want to test it so much and so soon.

UPDATE: The Bengals' official website reported after the game that Maualuga and Dunlap suffered knee sprains. Wharton was on crutches at halftime, and the fear is he might be out for the season.

UPDATE II: Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said Saturday that Wharton's injury appears to be season-ending, according to Bengals.com.

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