Jonah Williams

Bengals Place Jonah Williams On IR

The Bengals have placed offensive tackle Jonah Williams on injured reserve, per a club announcement. In a corresponding move, they’ve activated cornerback Darius Phillips from IR. 

[RELATED: NFL Suspends Bengals S Shawn Williams]

Between Williams and quarterback Joe Burrow, the club’s last two first round picks have landed on IR. It’s especially frustrating for Williams, who lost his would-be rookie season in 2019 with a lorn labrum. He returned this year, though he was briefly interrupted by a neck stinger in Week 7. On Sunday, he was forced out by a knee injury, and it appears to be a season-ender. Williams can technically return after three games, but there are only four games to go and they won’t mean much for the 2-9-1 Bengals.

The good news is that Williams is not believed to have torn a ligament. He’s looking at a fairly straight-forward rehab, which is more than the Bengals can say for Burrow following reconstructive ACL surgery.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Injury Updates: McCaffrey, Fulton, Carson, Drake

Panthers superstar Christian McCaffrey returned to practice Monday, which is certainly a welcome sign considering he hasn’t been out there since Week 2. While it’s a step in the right direction, it doesn’t mean McCaffrey will be suiting up for Carolina on Thursday Night Football this week. In fact, CMAC is a “long-shot” to play in their division game against the Falcons, a source told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link).

Mike Davis took over as the Panthers’ running back and got off to a hot start, but he’s since cooled off significantly and only had 12 rushing yards yesterday. As such, McCaffrey’s return can’t come quick enough. The Panthers are now 3-4 and desperately need a win over Atlanta if they want to stay in the NFC playoff picture. McCaffrey went down with a high ankle sprain in their Week 2 game against the Bucs and has been sidelined ever since.

Here’s more health updates from around the league:

  • The Titans lost their first game of the season on Sunday, and they also lost a key piece of their defense for a while. Rookie cornerback Kristian Fulton will miss a “few weeks” with a knee injury, according to veteran beat writer Paul Kuharsky (Twitter link). Kuharsky writes that it’s unclear if he’ll go on injured reserve, which would require him to miss at least three games. A second-round pick in April’s draft, Fulton has started the Titans’ last two games after missing one on the COVID-19 list. Tennessee’s secondary has already struggled mightily, so this is an unwelcome development for Mike Vrabel’s unit.
  • The Bengals have already had a tough time blocking for Joe Burrow, and Cincy fans everywhere were holding their breath when starting left tackle Jonah Williams went down with a neck injury yesterday. Fortunately, the “early indications” are that the injury is not “overly serious,” a source told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). Rapsheet says Williams may miss this week, but there is some optimism he could return after their Week 9 bye. The 11th overall pick of the 2019 draft, Williams missed his entire rookie season with a shoulder injury but had played every snap this year before going down.
  • Williams isn’t the only member of the Bengals’ offensive line banged up, as starting right tackle Bobby Hart also got hurt against Cleveland. Hart will miss this weekend’s game against Tennessee, head coach Zac Taylor announced Monday. Hart had also started all seven games this season, and now it looks like Burrow might be without each of his starting tackles this season. Given that he’s already been running for his life in most weeks, this could be a recipe for disaster.
  • The Seahawks also lost their first game of the season Sunday, and now it looks like they’ll be without starting running back Chris Carson for a while. Carson suffered a mid-foot sprain that will leave him week to week, Rapoport tweets. While Carson will apparently miss some time it doesn’t sound like anything too serious, and he shouldn’t be on the shelf too long. Fellow running back Travis Homer also got hurt on Sunday night, and we’re still waiting on an update on him.
  • The Cardinals beat Seattle on Sunday night, but unfortunately the recently signed linebacker Isaiah Irving suffered a serious injury and had to be carted off. Irving suffered a back injury that will likely sideline him for the rest of the season, a source told Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Signed off Denver’s practice squad a couple of weeks ago, Irving was in his first game with the Cards and was only playing on special teams, so this won’t have too much impact on Arizona’s defense. Hopefully Irving is able to make a swift and full recovery.
  • Irving wasn’t the only Cardinal to go down. Starting running back Kenyan Drake hurt his ankle, and he’s going to miss some time. Drake will miss a few weeks with a slight ligament tear in his ankle, a source told Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Chase Edmonds, the highly talented change of pace back, will now get a chance to shine in Drake’s absence. Fortunately Arizona has a bye in Week 8, which will reduce the number of games Drake has to miss. Schefter adds that the team is treating the ligament issue essentially like a high ankle sprain.
  • Chargers tight end Virgil Green came down with a crucial touchdown in Los Angeles’ win over the Jaguars, but unfortunately he hurt himself on the play. Green will miss several weeks with a lateral ankle sprain, Rapoport tweets, and he’s a candidate for injured reserve. The Chargers still have Hunter Henry of course, but this is a significant blow as they like to run multiple tight end sets. Second-year UDFA from Stetson Donald Parham also caught a touchdown from Justin Herbert on Sunday, and should be in line for more playing time moving forward. Green, in his third season with the Chargers, has always been more of a blocker than receiver during his ten-year career.

Rams Make Roster Cuts

The Rams are one-upping everyone else, making a slew of roster cuts to get down to *52* players, as Adam Schefter passes along on Twitter. Presumably they’re planning on making another move imminently and not starting the year with one less player than everyone else.

Los Angeles had already made a bunch of cuts, so it’s a smaller group getting the axe now:

Deayon and Johnston have both been featured prominently on HBO’s ‘Hard Knocks’ during camp, so there will surely be some fans bummed about those cuts. Both are good bets to be back on the practice squad since Johnston was a draft pick and Deayon was on the active roster at times last year.

Perkins had plenty of electrifying moments as Virginia’s quarterback, but the UDFA apparently wasn’t ready to make it as an NFL passer. Howard and Robinson aren’t getting cut but are rather being put on IR and the non-football injury list respectively. Howard, who was supposed to play a big role on defense, will be out for the season while Robinson will have to miss at least the first six games.

Bengals’ Jonah Williams Returns To Practice

Offensive tackle Jonah Williams will return to practice for the Bengals, per a club announcement. The No. 11 overall pick has yet to make his NFL debut due to a shoulder injury he suffered in the preseason, so this is a promising step forward.

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Williams can practice for the rest of the season without counting against the 53-man roster limit. In theory, they could activate him before the end of the year, but it’s not clear whether that’s part of the plan. Given that this is a lost season, they might take the cautious approach and leave him out of harm’s way.

Before the injury, Williams was slotted to start at left tackle for the Bengals. That’s likely where he’ll be stationed in 2020, when the Bengals hope to get back on track.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bengals’ Jonah Williams Unlikely To Play

Bengals head coach Zac Taylor says he does not expect first-round pick Jonah Williams to play this season (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Ben Baby). The team will monitor the tackle over the next few weeks, but there’s little sense in rushing him back on to the field in a lost season. 

[RELATED: Bengals Activate John Ross]

Williams was slotted to start at left tackle before suffering a left shoulder injury. Unfortunately, Williams was just one of several banged up Bengals this season, putting a major damper on Taylor’s first year.

Still, the future is bright for Williams, who was on track to be a Top 10 pick before the Giants shocked the world by taking Duke quarterback Daniel Jones at No. 6 overall. The early shakeup led to the Jaguars taking Kentucky edge rusher Josh Allen at No. 7, which allowed the Lions to opt for Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson at No. 8 instead of Williams. That worked out just fine for the Bengals, who were able to stand pat and land the best tackle in this year’s class.

Next year, they should find out exactly how good Williams is.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bengals Trim Roster To 53

The Bengals announced their final 53-man roster. One of the moves will be, as expected, placing Darqueze Dennard on their reserve/PUP list. Dennard now must miss at least the first six games of the season. This comes after the Bengals re-signed their former first-round pick on a one-year, $5MM deal. The team knew Dennard needed a post-signing knee surgery, but the arthroscopic procedure was performed several months ago.

Cincinnati is also placing Jonah Williams on its PUP list instead of season-ending IR. While the first-round tackle was believed to be set to miss the season, this move is a way of retaining a chance he can recover. Williams would revert to IR if he cannot recover from the shoulder injury he sustained this offseason.

Here’s the full list of the Bengals’ moves to meet the 53-man limit:

Placed on Reserve/Injured list:

Placed on the Reserve/PUP list:

  • CB Darqueze Dennard (sixth-year player, Michigan State; knee injury)
  • OT Jonah Williams (rookie, Alabama; shoulder injury)

Released:

Waived:

Suspended:

  • G Alex Redmond (third-year player, UCLA, suspended for four games)

All of the waived players, except for Core, will be practice squad eligible if they clear waivers.

Bengals Re-Sign T Andre Smith

Andre Smith is set for a fourth stint with the team that drafted him in the top 10. The Bengals and the 10-year veteran tackle agreed on yet another reunion Thursday.

The Bengals have encountered some offensive line obstacles this summer, with first-rounder and left tackle starter Jonah Williams suffering a season-ending injury and eight-year starter Clint Boling retiring. On the eve of another Bengals camp, the team landed Smith for another potential go-round.

Smith spent his first seven seasons in Cincinnati, working opposite Andrew Whitworth with the Bengals’ playoff teams. He has joined other teams twice — the Vikings for all of 2016 and the Cardinals for a rough few months in 2018 — but has come back to Cincinnati each time. The Bengals signed him late last season, after the Cardinals cut him, and the 32-year-old blocker looks like a potential depth option once more. Smith also visited the Jets earlier this year.

Both Duke Tobin and new OC Brian Callahan acknowledged the Bengals needed more help up front, with the latter specifying the team needed tackles. While Smith is a few years removed from his prime, the 93-game starter will compete for a spot on another Bengals roster.

The team also placed Williams on its active/PUP list. While that distinction means he could return at any point during camp, the shoulder injury the Alabama product suffered this summer is expected to keep him out until 2020.

Bengals’ Williams Likely To Miss Season

Bengals first-round offensive tackle Jonah Williams is likely to miss the entire season after undergoing surgery on his left shoulder, according to a team announcement. It seems likely that the No. 11 overall pick will be placed on injured reserve soon, but no move has been made just yet. 

We look forward to Jonah being a major contributor in the future, and know that he won’t let this injury deter him from still being an important part of this team,” said head coach Zac Taylor. “We’re confident in our offensive line personnel as we head into training camp, and we believe they can do their part in helping this team achieve its goals.”

Williams was slotted to start at left tackle with the team moving Cordy Glenn over to left guard. Without the rookie, the Bengals are likely to move Glenn back to LT and focus on finding an LG solution. That fill-in could be Christian Westerman, who took the bulk of the starter’s reps there during minicamp while Williams was out. There’s also veteran John Jerry, who just recently joined the team, to consider.

The Bengals are trying to put a positive spin on the situation, noting in their press release that the Patriots won the Super Bowl last year despite losing first-round pick Isaiah Wynn to a season-ending Achilles tear. The club also noted that center Billy Price, last year’s first-round pick, has put together a solid spring after missing much of his rookie campaign.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bengals To Move Cordy Glenn To Guard

Jonah Williams was rumored to be a possible fit at right tackle or guard with the Bengals, but the team will relocate a veteran lineman instead to accommodate its first-round pick.

Cordy Glenn will slide from left tackle to left guard, with Williams taking over on the left edge, according to Paul Dehner Jr. of the Cincinnati Enquirer (on Twitter). Williams made 44 starts at Alabama in three seasons, and 29 of those came at left tackle.

Glenn has not played guard as a pro, breaking into the Bills’ starting lineup as a rookie in 2012. He has played left tackle throughout his career but does have guard experience in college. The former second-round pick lined up at guard for much of his time at Georgia before moving to tackle his senior year.

The Bengals traded for Glenn last year and received 13 starts during his first season in western Ohio. Glenn graded as Pro Football Focus’ No. 60 tackle, his 60.9 overall grade his worst as a pro, and surrendered the most pressures of his seven-year career as well. Perhaps a move inside will be beneficial for the soon-to-be 30-year-old blocker.

Clint Boling has been the Bengals’ left guard for most of the 2010s, beginning his run there in 2012. He did not participate in team drills during OTAs, according to the Enquirer’s Fletcher Page. Boling started at right guard for the Bengals as a rookie in 2011, so it’s conceivable Cincinnati could slot him there. The Bengals signed former Bills guard John Miller to a three-year, $16.5MM deal, however, so Cincy’s 2019 line could feature two former Bills as first-string guards. One year (at $4.85MM) remains on Boling’s deal. He graded as PFF’s No. 39 guard in 2018.

This, interestingly, stands to leave Bobby Hart in place at right tackle. Most questioned why the Bengals gave Hart a three-year, $16.2MM deal this year, but the scrutinized edge protector may well be part of Cincinnati’s first-unit line after all.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bengals Sign Jonah Williams, Drew Sample

The Bengals signed first-round offensive tackle Jonah Williams and second-round tight end Drew Sample, according to a team announcement. Williams was selected No. 11 overall while Sample was taken 41 picks later with the No. 52 choice. 

Williams entered draft weekend as a strong candidate for the top 10. But, after the Giants shocked the world by taking Duke quarterback Daniel Jones at No. 6 overall, things changed radially for the Alabama product and other top prospects. The early shakeup led to the Jaguars taking Kentucky edge rusher Josh Allen at No. 7, which allowed the Lions to opt for Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson at No. 8 instead of Williams. That worked out just fine for the Bengals, who were able to stand pat and land the best tackle in this year’s class.

Sample, meanwhile, used his 6’5″ frame to block effectively at Washington. He didn’t light up the stat sheet with just 25 catches for 252 yards in 2018, but he could develop into more of an offensive playmaker with time.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.