Sources: Bengals' Leon Hall to IR

Updated: October 22, 2013, 12:37 AM ET
By Coley Harvey | ESPN.com

CINCINNATI -- The Cincinnati Bengals were holding out hope Monday that they might receive good news regarding cornerback Leon Hall's Achilles injury.

They did not.

League and team sources told ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen that the Bengals will place Hall on injured reserve for the remainder of the season after learning he tore his left Achilles tendon during Sunday's 27-24 win at Detroit. An MRI apparently came back positive, confirming suspicions about the injury's severity. No official word has come from the team, and it likely won't until a corresponding roster move is announced. That move should come Tuesday.

With Hall going on IR, the Bengals could move rookie cornerback Onterio McCalebb off the practice squad to take Hall's place. Or they could go to the free-agent pool and bring in a player to add depth. Among the potential targets the Bengals could sign are 36-year-old Ohio native Antoine Winfield and former Bengal Shaun Prater. Prater was released by Philadelphia earlier Monday.

During his regularly scheduled news conference Monday afternoon, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis was adamant the Bengals weren't going to go out and bring in a cornerback to take Hall's place. If any players are brought in, it appears they will be brought in primarily to shore up depth and not to take true starting repetitions.

"We don't have to look for anybody," Lewis said. "We have a couple of guys that have to step up and play now. They've been sitting here on scholarship for a bit. Now it's time for them to go.

"We're not going to get anybody off the street that's going to outplay anyone here in the building."

Hall was injured in the first quarter of Sunday's game when he started trying to jump for a pass thrown to the Lions' Calvin Johnson in the end zone. As Hall hit the ground and rolled over onto his belly, Johnson dropped the ball. Two plays later, with a replacement in for Hall, the Lions scored.

Hall will be the second Bengal placed on IR since the season began. Defensive end Robert Geathers suffered a season-ending elbow injury during the Week 2 win over Pittsburgh.

This is the second time Hall has had an Achilles injury. He tore his right Achilles in November 2011, and spent the remainder of that season and the following offseason rehabbing. He returned last season, playing arguably better than he had at earlier points in his career.

"Le will be back," Bengals cornerback Adam Jones said. "Le's a tough guy. Very mentally strong. He'll be all right. ... If anybody can [come back], it's Leon Hall. Because he has that work ethic that you cannot explain. I was here working with him the year that he tore his Achilles, and every day he came in with the mindset of: 'I'm going to do this and going to do better.' So, like I said, if anybody can do it, it's Leon Hall."

Coley Harvey

ESPN Cincinnati Bengals reporter

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