Cincinnati Bengals: inactives

Concussion has Bengals' Harrison inactive

December, 22, 2013
CINCINNATI -- A concussion will have Cincinnati Bengals linebacker James Harrison sidelined for Sunday afternoon's game at Paul Brown Stadium.

The veteran was among the seven inactive players the Bengals announced before the important non-conference contest against the Minnesota Vikings. Bengals cornerback Terence Newman, who missed last week's game at Pittsburgh, also was declared inactive as he tries to come back from a knee injury suffered in Cincinnati's last home game two weeks ago.

Harrison's concussion came in the first quarter of his homecoming game at Pittsburgh. In his first game back at Heinz Field since signing with the Bengals this offseason, the former longtime Steeler didn't play for long. His injury preceded another ugly one to punter Kevin Huber, who was lost for the season after being blindsided by Steelers return-team player Terence Garvin. Defensive end Carlos Dunlap also was among those who entered this past week's practices with lingering effects from an injury picked up last Sunday night. He was concussed at the end of the game.

Unlike Harrison, though, Dunlap was able to clear the protocol for his concussion. He was designated as active. Offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth, who also suffered his own concussion during a practice this past week, cleared concussion protocol, too. He will be starting at left guard, just like he has the previous two games.

One other inactive of note: defensive tackle Devon Still. A back injury this week had Still limited in practices and forced him into being declared questionable.

Michael Boley will take Harrison's spot when the Bengals go into packages that feature that particular linebacker position. Kirkpatrick will make his second straight start at cornerback in place of Newman.

Along with Whitworth's inclusion at left guard, the Bengals also will keep Mike Pollak at right guard, even though Kevin Zeitler is active. Before a foot injury at Baltimore last month, Zeitler had been the team's starter at the position. Even though he has now been active the past three weeks, Zeitler hasn't yet relieved his former backup Pollak.

Here's the full list of Bengals and Vikings inactives:

Bengals: WR Dane Sanzenbacher, CB Terence Newman, WR Ryan Whalen, LB James Harrison, RB Rex Burkhead, OT Dennis Roland, DT Devon Still

Vikings: QB Josh Freeman, CB Xavier Rhodes, RB Matt Asiata, OT Mike Remmers, WR Rodney Smith, DT Chase Baker, DE Justin Trattou
PITTSBURGH -- Three hours before the start of Sunday night's game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers, the lobby of the downtown Marriott was noisy.

Every two or three minutes, cheers rose from the dozen or so jersey-wearing Bengals fans who were huddled in a corner of the lobby. Bolstered by a New England Patriots loss to Miami earlier in the day, Cincinnati fans were offering well wishes to their team on their way to the buses waiting to take them to Heinz Field.

"Get that 2-seed!" one shouted.

Such send-offs are common on road trips for visiting teams. But because of what all was at stake for the Bengals, there was something a little different about this one. More than at any other time this season, playoff seeding and a playoff berth are on the line.

Earlier this week Cincinnati's primary objective was simple: just win. But thanks to a game-icing interception by Miami's Michael Thomas about an hour before the Bengals' last bus left for Heinz Field, the goals changed.

Suddenly "just win" turned into "beat Pittsburgh, and we're in the playoffs," and "beat Pittsburgh, and Minnesota and Baltimore, and we have a first-round bye."

If the Bengals end up getting past the Steelers on Sunday night, they will end up doing two important things. They will have clinched their third straight playoff berth -- the first time in team history they will have gone to the postseason that many times in a row -- and moved from the current AFC No. 3 playoff seed to No. 2. The top two seeds get the first week of the playoffs off and home-field advantage.

How do they automatically become the No. 2 seed with a win? In order to understand that, you have to go back to Oct. 6. That day, the Bengals beat the Patriots when one of their own defensive backs, cornerback Adam Jones, intercepted Tom Brady in the final seconds of that game. The 13-6 victory was Cincinnati's third of the year, and it helped propel its momentum forward.

It won't be easy for the Bengals to claim a win Sunday. They're playing a Steelers team that has a better offensive than it did in September when the Bengals won 20-10 on a Monday night -- their first win of the season. Pittsburgh also probably wouldn't mind embracing the role of postseason spoiler for the Bengals. After dominating the AFC North for so long, the 5-8 Steelers are in a strange position this year. Entering the game, they were all but formally eliminated from postseason contention. A loss would make that elimination official.

A win at Pittsburgh, and the Bengals will be in the driver's seat.

Kickoff: 8:30 p.m. ET/NBC

Weather: 25 degrees. Some snow showers with winds gusting up to 20 mph during the game.

Records: Bengals (9-4); Steelers (5-8)

Bengals Inactives
WR Dane Sanzenbacher, CB Terence Newman, RB Rex Burkhead, OG Tanner Hawkinson, FB Orson Charles, WR Ryan Whalen, DT Christo Bilukidi

Steelers Inactives
QB Landry Jones, WR Derek Moye, CB Isaiah Green, LB Stevenson Sylvester, OG/C David Snow, DT Steve McLendon, DE Brett Keisel

Chris Crocker among Bengals' inactives

November, 17, 2013
CINCINNATI -- After he was kept out of practice all week dealing with hamstring issues, there was little doubt that Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Chris Crocker would play in Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns.

The Bengals have officially ruled him out for the game, placing the veteran defensive back on their seven-man list of inactives.

This is the first game Crocker has missed since coming out of pseudo-retirement and signing with the Bengals ahead of their Week 4 contest at Cleveland. He has 24 total tackles and an interception return for a touchdown in the seven games he has played with Cincinnati.

In addition to Crocker's absence, the Bengals will be without offensive guard Kevin Zeitler. Zeitler dealt with an ankle injury all week, sporting a protective boot and crutches.

With Crocker out, the Bengals are expected to move second-year cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick into the slot corner position. Zeitler will be replaced by Mike Pollak, who is making his first start since 2011. Middle linebacker Rey Maualuga (doubtful/knee) will miss his third straight game, and be replaced once again by Vincent Rey. In two starts in place of Maualuga, Rey has 18 tackles, three sacks and an interception.

Along with Crocker and Zeitler missing Sunday's game, former Bengals offensive lineman Reid Fragel also will be inactive for the Browns.

Here are the full inactives for both teams:

Browns inactives: TE MarQueis Gray, LB Brandon Magee, OL Patrick Lewis, OL Martin Wallace, OL Garrett Gilkey, DL Ishmaa'ily Kitchen, OL Reid Fragel

Bengals inactives: CB Chris Crocker, RB Rex Burkhead, WR Ryan Whalen, LB Rey Maualuga, DT Devon Still, OG Kevin Zeitler, OL Tanner Hawkinson
CINCINNATI -- Until the Cincinnati Bengals place Leon Hall on the injured reserve list, he will be appearing on their weekly list of inactives.

That was the case ahead of Sunday afternoon's game against the New York Jets, when the cornerback was declared inactive for the third time this season. He missed two games earlier this year with a hamstring injury. Last week against Detroit, playing just his fifth game of the year, Hall tore his Achilles attempting to break up a pass in end zone. The season-ending tear has had the Bengals mulling roster-move possibilities to move him off the 53-man roster. So far, nothing has stuck.

For that reason, Hall will remain on the list of inactives until he gets formally moved to the IR, joining defensive end Robert Geathers as the only Bengals to suffer season-ending injuries during the season. Geathers hurt an elbow during the Week 2 home opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

With Hall out, the Bengals will move Adam Jones into his spot. Jones will start opposite Terence Newman. Fellow corner Dre Kirkpatrick is expected to be moved into the Nickel corner position, taking the snaps Hall would normally take. The second-year defensive back has been working both in the slot and at the edge cornerback positions all season, and said last week that he feels comfortable playing either.

Along with Hall, the Bengals will be without defensive tackle Devon Still, who also was hurt at Detroit last week.

Here are the full lists of inactives for both the Bengals and Jets:

Jets: QB David Garrard, WR Santonio Holmes, WR Greg Salas, LB Ricky Sapp, OG Will Campbell, OT Ben Ijalana, OL Oday Aboushi.

Bengals: CB Leon Hall, DT Devon Still, RB Rex Burkhead, CB Chris Lewis-Harris, C Trevor Robinson, G Tanner Hawkinson, WR Ryan Whalen

Bengals' Johnson and Hall are active

October, 13, 2013
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The Cincinnati Bengals' defense, one that prevented New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady from throwing a touchdown pass last week, just got stronger ahead of its Sunday afternoon road tilt against the Bills.

Defensive end Michael Johnson and cornerback Leon Hall were declared active for the game after dealing with injuries the past few weeks. Johnson suffered a concussion in the Bengals' Week 4 loss at Cleveland. He was held out of practices from that game until Friday, when he was finally cleared following a battery of tests that he had to go through per the NFL's concussion protocol.

Hall practiced all of last week after suffering a hamstring injury in the Bengals' Week 3 win against the Green Bay Packers.

With Johnson and Hall in the mix, the Bengals' eighth-ranked unit gets a good lift just in time to face a Bills' offense that is in a bit of flux. Buffalo lost starting quarterback EJ Manuel to a knee injury at Cleveland last weekend, causing it to start former practice squad player Thad Lewis. This is Lewis' second-career start.

While Johnson and Hall were declared active, cornerback Brandon Ghee was declared inactive once again as he deals with a thigh injury. He has only played one game this season as he has had to battle through concussion issues, as well.

Here are the full lists of inactives for the Bills and Bengals:


RB Rex Burkhead

CB Brandon Ghee

CB Chris Lewis-Harris

OG Tanner Hawkinson

OG Mike Pollak

WR Ryan Whalen

DE Margus Hunt


QB EJ Manuel

WR Stevie Johnson

CB Justin Rogers

CB Brandon Burton

CB Ron Brooks

LB Ty Powell

OG Antoine McClain

Bengals' Johnson, Hall among inactives

October, 6, 2013
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

Bengals declare DB trio inactive

September, 29, 2013
CLEVELAND -- Cincinnati's secondary, it appears, will have its hands full against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

As had been anticipated for much of the week, about an hour and a half before the game, the Bengals declared a trio of injured defensive backs inactive. Cornerbacks Leon Hall and Dre Kirkpatrick and safety Reggie Nelson won't participate after trying all week to overcome respective hamstring injuries. Kirkpatrick has now missed the past two games, although he practiced Friday for the first time since getting hurt during the Bengals' Week 2 win against Pittsburgh.

Hall and Nelson were injured at the end of last week's win against the Green Bay Packers.

Adam Jones will take Hall's spot on the field at cornerback, and Taylor Mays will move into Nelson's spot at safety. After bouncing back from his own injury last Sunday, Jones played nearly every snap against the Packers. He'll likely be backed up by Brandon Ghee, who rejoined the team this week after being out the last six weeks with a concussion. Mays likely will be backed up by veteran Chris Crocker, who was re-signed earlier this week.

Along with the defensive backs, defensive end Margus Hunt also was listed on the inactives. It's the fourth straight game he's missed.

The Browns will be without their former starting quarterback, Brandon Weeden. Replaced last week by Brian Hoyer, a hometown kid who will be making his first career start at FirstEnergy Stadium, Weeden will miss his second straight game.

While Weeden will be out, kicker Billy Cundiff, who had a hamstring injury, will participate in Sunday's game for the Browns.

Here is the full list of inactives for the Bengals and Browns:

Bengals: S Reggie Nelson, CB Leon Hall, CB Dre Kirkpatrick, RB Rex Burkhead, G Mike Pollak, G Tanner Hawkinson, DE Margus Hunt

Browns: QB Brandon Weeden, LB Quentin Groves, OL Martin Wallace, OL Shawn Lauvao, TE Keavon Milton, DL Billy Winn, LB Jabaal Sheard

Bengals declare Margus Hunt inactive

September, 22, 2013
CINCINNATI -- Days after Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer hinted that defensive end Margus Hunt's time as a "redshirt may be over," the rookie lineman was placed on Cincinnati's inactive list for the third straight week.

A foreign-born player originally from Estonia, Hunt played just four years of football before getting selected by the Bengals in the second round of this year's draft. The plan has been to go easy on bringing Hunt along, slowly getting him more acclimated with NFL terminology and the pro style of playing the important pass-rush position.

It seemed all of that was going to change this week after the Bengals announced that 10-year veteran defensive end Robert Geathers was lost for the year with a season-ending elbow injury that he picked up in Monday night's 20-10 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Geathers was mostly used as a reserve in Cincinnati's deep defensive line rotation. In addition to Hunt, Wallace Gilberry has been used as a backup at end behind starters Carlos Dunlap and Michael Johnson. Gilberry participated fully in practice Friday, but he battled this week through a knee injury.

With news of Hunt's inactivity, don't be surprised if outside linebacker James Harrison drops down to the line of scrimmage on occasion as a rush end. With the Packers expected to pass often, the Bengals' secondary figures to be in a nickel defense fairly regularly. Typically when they go into the nickel, the Bengals have to sacrifice Harrison's presence as they try to get linebackers with better coverage skills on the field. Pittsburgh passed so much last week that Harrison took only 14 snaps against his former team. A move to the line could get him on the field more often.

Here are the full inactives lists for the Bengals and Packers:

Bengals announce seven inactives

September, 8, 2013
CHICAGO -- The Cincinnati Bengals have announced their list of inactive players for Sunday afternoon's season opener at Soldier Field.

The group includes five offensive players and two on defense. One of the offensive players is left tackle Andrew Whitworth, whose status on Saturday was changed from "doubtful" to "out."

Along with Whitworth, the Bengals won't have receiver Dane Sanzenbacher, cornerback Brandon Ghee, running back Rex Burkhead, guard Mike Pollak, receiver Ryan Whalen and defensive end Margus Hunt. The only lineup change announced was that backup tackle Anthony Collins will be filling in for Whitworth.

The Bears' list of inactives includes receiver Marquess Wilson, cornerback C.J. Wilson, running back Michael Ford, offensive tackle James Brown, tight end Dante Rosario, defensive end David Bass and defensive tackle Zach Minter.