With final decisions looming over who will get the final spots on the 53-man roster the Bengals now have a wrench thrown into the process.

Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports reported Friday that Emmanuel Lamur is lost for the season after suffering a shoulder injury during the first quarter of Thursday’s 27-10 win over Indianapolis.

The second-year linebacker was expected to be a big part of the team’s nickel package. Vontaze Burfict and Lamur were the two linebackers in nickel during the first three preseason games while Rey Maualuga who was a three-down player for most of his career here had been used primarily in base packages.

With Lamur headed to IR that could open up a roster spot for J.K. Schaffer but how long he holds it remains to be seen. The Bengals could look to the waiver wire and see who is released over the next 48 hours.

For those who wonder about Thomas Howard he is still rehabbing from last year’s knee injury. He is making progress but wasn’t with a team during the preseason.

According to Pro Football Focus the Bengals defense was in nickel or dime packages 53.4 percent of the time last season. Of those 624 snaps Maualuga was in on 586 but received the worst coverage grade in the league at minus-20.2. Burfict was in for 482 plays followed by Vinny Rey (197) Lamur (46) and Dontay Moch (5).

If the Bengals were unable to find someone on the waiver wire Maualuga could move back into nickel with Jayson DiManche also a possibility. DiManche saw a steady dose of nickel during Thursday’s game.