Tuesday, June 10, 2014
With Gresham out, Bengals re-sign Smith
By Coley Harvey
CINCINNATI -- With one tight end nursing an unspecified injury the Cincinnati Bengals on Tuesday re-signed another.
Alex Smith, a 10-year veteran who had been an unrestricted free agent this offseason, was added just as tight end Jermaine Gresham goes through his own injury.
A league source told ESPN's Field Yates on Tuesday that hernia surgery has kept Gresham out of on-field practices since they began two weeks ago. Coach Marvin Lewis admitted to reporters last week that Gresham was hurt, but he declined to go into specifics of the injury. Not only has Gresham missed all of the voluntary organized team activities to this point, he also wasn't practicing in Tuesday's mandatory minicamp, although he was in attendance. Before that sighting, he hadn't been seen by media since early May, when he was around for voluntary offseason conditioning workouts.
According to Yates, there is no exact timetable on Gresham's return.
With Smith's return, the Bengals are officially at full capacity on their roster. They now have 90 players. While they can cut players and add others at any time between now and training camp, this figures to be the roster they will carry into the preseason.
"Alex played significant snaps for us last year, and it's good to get him back in the fold," coach Marvin Lewis said. "He's ready to go physically, and it's minicamp week, so he jumps right back in there for us."
Smith's only season with the Bengals was 2013. He signed last offseason as an unrestricted free agent from Cleveland. He played in every one of Cincinnati's regular-season games last year, starting two of them. His last start came during the regular-season finale, when he played in place of both Gresham and Tyler Eifert, the Bengals' top two tight ends who had suffered injuries the week before.
Eifert also has missed time this spring. He didn't practice last week after battling through a minor shoulder injury. He began Tuesday's minicamp, but didn't finish the workout.
Smith has played in 119 career games, making 57 starts. He also has 163 catches for 1,473 yards and 13 touchdowns.