Monday, December 30, 2013
Bengals place two on IR, make signings
By Coley Harvey
CINCINNATI -- One day after listing their top two tight ends among the inactives in their regular-season finale, the Cincinnati Bengals placed their third tight end option on the injured reserve and sent another defensive player with him.
Alex Smith, a veteran tight end playing in his first season with the Bengals, dislocated a wrist in Sunday's 34-17 win over the Baltimore Ravens. He was starting at tight end because of injuries to Jermaine Gresham and rookie Tyler Eifert. Gresham had a hamstring injury that the Bengals are hopeful he'll be able to recover from this week when they host the San Diego Chargers in the first round of the AFC playoffs. He picked up the injury in Cincinnati's Week 16 win over Minnesota.
Eifert didn't play Sunday after suffering a stinger in that same Week 16 contest. Neither he nor Gresham practiced all last week. During his Monday news conference, coach Marvin Lewis didn't give any indication as to whether either will be able to go this weekend.
Along with Smith, reserve defensive tackle Devon Still was placed on IR with a back injury that he suffered during a practice on Dec. 18. According to the Bengals, he has a herniated disc. His last game was the Week 15 contest at Pittsburgh. He also was inactive for four other games earlier in the year after an elbow injury at Detroit in the middle of the season forced him to sit.
In order to fill Still's spot on the roster, the Bengals signed free agent defensive tackle Ogemdi Nwagbuo on Monday. The fourth-year player from Michigan State has six starts in 36 career games. He played for the Chargers between 2009-11, and also has stints with the Panthers and Lions. Most recently, he was with the Lions in this past preseason before getting waived Aug. 31.
Nwagbuo's addition will give the Bengals a little extra depth with Still now shelved.
Cincinnati also announced two future signings of free agents. Cornerback Brandon Burton and defensive tackle Zach Minter were added to the Bengals' reserve pipeline. They can't join the team in any work capacity or count towards the active roster until the day after the Super Bowl. Burton is a third-year player who appeared in 14 games for the Vikings between 2011-12. He also played in Buffalo's first five games of the season before getting cut Oct. 28.
Minter was signed as a college free agent in May and played two games for the Bears before getting waived Nov. 5.