GEORGETOWN, Ky., Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Veteran outside linebacker Takeo Spikes, the heart and soul of the improving defense of the Cincinnati Bengals, will be on the sidelines for a while after suffering a chest injury in the team's preseason win at Buffalo Friday night.
Spikes suffered a partially torn right pectoral muscle on a play in which he sacked Bills quarterback Drew Bledsoe at the end of the first quarter. He ran off the field holding his chest.
"I was trying to go for the extra effort, trying to pick him up and dunk him," Spikes told the Cincinnati Post on what turned out to be a strained right pectoral muscle. "As soon as I had done it, I knew it. The only thing I was hoping and praying for was that it didn't tear."
Spikes, a four-year veteran who has not signed a new contract, likely will be out 2-4 weeks. He might be able to play in the Bengals' preseason finale Aug. 29 at Atlanta.
The 6-2, 245-pounder from Auburn has never missed a regular season contest because of injury and, if he does not play again in the exhibition season, he definitely is pointing toward being healthy for the first game of the regular campaign at home Sept. 8 against San Diego.
"I'll be back by the opener. I'm not worried about that," Spikes said. "My big goal this week is to be back on the field by Thursday or Friday, but I can't have any contact. It's like a hamstring, but the good thing is it doesn't take as long as a hamstring to get better, depending on how bad it is."
Last season, Spikes was credited with 109 tackles, 6 sacks, one interception and one fumble recovery while being double-teamed on nearly every play.