The Bengals have placed linebacker Vontaze Burfict on the injured reserve list, ending his season, the team announced today (Twitter link). Taking Burfict’s place on the 53-man roster will be quarterback A.J. McCarron, whom Cincinnati activated from the reserve/non-football injury list.
Burfict, who has had concussion injuries in the past, and earlier this season, underwent a procedure on his knee, which will keep him sidelined for the rest of the year. Losing the 24-year-old will be a significant blow to the Bengals’ defense as the club looks to secure a playoff spot in the AFC. Burfict is coming off a Pro Bowl sophomore season, and is one of the leaders on the defensive side of the ball in Cincinnati, but was limited to just a handful of games in his third year after racking up 177 tackles in 2013.
As for McCarron, the rookie is extremely unlikely to play a role down the stretch for Cincinnati, but activating him will allow him to remain on the practice field with the team for the rest of the season. He’ll slide in behind Andy Dalton and Jason Campbell on the depth chart.