Sunday, October 6, 2013
Bengals' Johnson, Hall among inactives
By Coley Harvey
CINCINNATI -- Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Michael Johnson's team-leading games-played streak will come to an end Sunday after he was declared inactive for the tilt against the New England Patriots.
Johnson had appeared in 71 straight games for the Bengals. So had punter Kevin Huber, who becomes the sole leader of Cincinnati's games-played streak. He'll be appearing in his 72nd consecutive contest.
Johnson will miss the game after suffering a concussion during last week's 17-6 loss at Cleveland. He informed trainers just after the game that he thought he had concussion-like symptoms. After running a series of tests inside FirstEnergy Stadium's visitor's locker room, they determined he was right. The fifth-year defensive end out of Georgia Tech didn't practice at all this past week.
Cornerback Leon Hall is Cincinnati's other major inactive, although he did appear in Friday's practice in a limited capacity. This will be the second straight game Hall has missed after suffering a hamstring injury at the end of the Bengals' 34-30 win over Green Bay two weeks ago.
In Johnson's place, backup defensive end Wallace Gilberry will get the starting nod opposite left defensive end Carlos Dunlap. Gilberry has appeared often this season as part of the Bengals' deep defensive line rotation. Johnson's inactivity also means rookie defensive end Margus Hunt will be active for the first time this season. He will be on the 46-man game roster to aid to depth at the position.
With Hall out, the Bengals also will move Adam Jones into Hall's starting spot. It's the second time Jones has played in relief of Hall this season. When the Bengals go into defensive coverages requiring a slot cornerback, they likely will insert Chris Crocker into the spot that Hall would normally play. The 11-year vet was signed last week. This will be his second game this season.
Another cornerback, Brandon Ghee, was declared inactive, too. After missing six weeks between the preseason and regular season due to a concussion, he finally returned to action last week. He was shelved much of this week, though, due to a thigh injury.
Here are the rest of the Bengals' and Patriots' inactives:
Bengals: CB Brandon Ghee, CB Leon Hall, RB Rex Burkhead, G Mike Pollak, G Tanner Hawkinson, WR Ryan Whalen, DE Michael Johnson
Patriots: WR Austin Collie, WR Matthew Slater, RB Stevan Ridley, DB Tavon Wilson, LB Steve Beauharnais, OL Chris Barker, TE Rob Gronkowski