Trenton Irwin

Bengals Place WR/PR Charlie Jones On IR

The Bengals are losing a bit of special teams depth for the next few weeks after making the decision to place wide receiver and return specialist Charlie Jones on injured reserve. The NFL’s top punt returner so far this year will be forced to miss at least the next four games as he deals with a thumb injury, according to ESPN’s Ben Baby.

Jones has bounced around the northern US quite a bit in the past six years, transferring schools twice from Buffalo to Iowa to Purdue before finally being drafted by the Bengals in the fourth round of this year’s draft. At Buffalo, he made his biggest impact on kickoff returns. Three years later, he excelled returning both punts and kicks for the Hawkeyes before finally getting a chance to shine on the Boilermakers offense, where he caught 110 passes for 1,361 yards and 12 touchdowns.

So far this season, Cincinnati has used Jones almost exclusively on special teams, specifically on punt returns. In fact, over the first two weeks of the year, he only returned punts as Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd continue to hold down most of the offensive snaps for the team’s receiving corps.

A Week 2, 81-yard punt return for a touchdown in a loss to the Ravens really underscored Jones’ potential with the team, and the Bengals rewarded him with three offensive snaps in their Monday night win over the Rams a week later. He took advantage of the small opportunity, catching one of two targets for six yards. Currently, Jones leads the league in all punting categories with eight returns for 150 return yards for a yards per return average of 18.75 with a touchdown, most of this thanks to the aforementioned home run return against Baltimore.

So, the league’s leading punt returner will have to sit out a quarter of his rookie year. In his absence, and with former punt returner Trent Taylor now in Chicago, the team could turn to Trenton Irwin who returned a few punts for Cincinnati two years ago.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/22/22

Here are Tuesday’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Cincinnati Bengals

Denver Broncos

Indianapolis Colts

New York Giants

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Commanders

The Bengals both designated Prince for return from IR and activated him Monday. This marks the second time this year the defending AFC champions have used one of their injury activations on a player only to waive him a day later. This first happened with Kareem, who then moved to the Bengals’ practice squad ahead of this Colts poaching. A former Dolphins sixth-rounder, Prince played in 15 Bengals games last season and started four. He has not played this year. It will be somewhat interesting if the Bengals keep Prince via a P-squad agreement, provided no waiver claims emerge.

Eifler, Rhattigan and Shudak have three weeks from Tuesday to be activated. The Seahawks, Titans and Commanders had seen their number of activation-eligible players pile up in recent weeks. Each of these teams have five injury activations remaining.

The Titans waived Week 11 kicker fill-in Josh Lambo on Monday. Primary Tennessee kicker Randy Bullock missed the game but is not on IR. Bullock suffered a calf injury during pregame warmups in Week 10. Shudak, a rookie UDFA out of Iowa who has spent the season on the Titans’ reserve/PUP list, would stand to represent insurance this week.

Bengals Activate DT D.J. Reader

D.J. Reader is back. The Bengals have activated the defensive tackle from injured reserve, according to Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic (on Twitter). Cincinnati also promoted wideout Trenton Irwin and punter Drue Chrisman from the practice squad.

Reader inked a four-year, $53MM deal to join the Bengals in 2020. He was limited to only five games during his first season in Cincy thanks to a quad injury, but he returned to start all 15 of his appearances in 2021. The defensive tackle finished the campaign with 43 tackles and a pair of sacks, and he added another 12 tackles and a sack in four playoff starts. Thanks to his regular season performance, Pro Football Focus ranked him ninth among 108 qualifying interior defenders.

The 28-year-old started each of the Bengals’ first three games this year, compiling 10 tackles. He suffered an MCL injury in September that shelved him for a few months, but he returned to practice earlier this week and is now in line to take the field tomorrow in Pittsburgh.

Chrismas is getting a chance to be Cincinnati’s punter despite Kevin Huber‘s presence on the roster. According to Dehner (on Twitter), Chrismas will have a chance to earn the full-time gig, and Huber has “been in the loop”on the team’s plan. Huber’s 2022 salary is guaranteed regardless of how things unfold. Huber has struggled this season, with his 43.2 yards per punt misrepresenting his lowest average since 2010. Chrismas, a 2021 UDFA out of Ohio State, has spent the majority of his career on the Bengals practice squad.

Irwin has earned promotions in each of the Bengals’ last two games following Ja’Marr Chase‘s injury. The 26-year-old wideout has gotten into 11 games in four seasons with the Bengals, collecting six receptions (including three this season).

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/5/22

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here:

Arizona Cardinals

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Detroit Lions

Indianapolis Colts

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

  • Promoted: OT Kion Smith

Minnesota Vikings

New York Jets

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Commanders

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/31/22

Today’s minor transactions:

Baltimore Ravens

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Chargers

San Francisco 49ers

Tennessee Titans

Wednesday NFL Transactions: AFC North

Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline Tuesday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters. In addition to waiver claims, teams can begin constructing their 16-man practice squads today. These BengalsBrowns, Ravens and Steelers moves are noted below.

Here are Wednesday’s AFC North transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day.

Baltimore Ravens

Signed:

Claimed:

Waived:

Placed on IR:

Signed to practice squad:

Cincinnati Bengals

Claimed:

Released:

Waived:

Placed on IR:

Signed to practice squad:

Cleveland Browns

Claimed: 

Released:

Signed to practice squad:

Pittsburgh Steelers

Bengals’ Roster Down To Final 53

Cincinnati made the necessary moves today to trim its roster down to 53 players. While some may find themselves back in the striped helmet Wednesday, many will have to clear waivers before being announced to the 16-man practice squad. Here are the moves made today to get down to the 53-man roster:

Released:

Waived:

Waived/injured:

Placed on reserve/PUP list:

The defending AFC champions are looking to run it back with much of the same roster as last year. Thirty-eight of this year’s 53-man roster were on last year’s Super Bowl roster, with the differences coming on offensive line and at the bottom of the depth chart.

Additionally, it appears all six 2022 draft picks made the roster for the Bengals, as well as one undrafted rookie signing. With so many starters returning from the Super Bowl team, all the rookies will be expected to contribute in backup roles. First- and second-round defensive backs Daxton Hill and Cam Taylor-Britt figure to factor heavily into the defensive rotation, though. Also in the secondary, cornerback Allan George is the lone UDFA from this year’s crop to make Cincinnati’s final roster.

To call it the final roster is a bit misleading as the Bengals will likely follow their own trends from last season, setting the roster up for multiple post-deadline moves. The roster currently includes 11 defensive backs, not including starting safety Jessie Bates, working currently on a roster exemption. Taylor-Britt could likely find his way to the four-week injured reserve list after undergoing core surgery recently. Defensive end Khalid Kareem will join Taylor-Britt on short-term IR, according to head coach Zac Taylor, with a hamstring injury.

Many expect Cincinnati to mirror a roster move from last year with wide receiver Thomas. Thomas is a vested veteran who will avoid the waiver wire and is expected to re-sign with the team after a corresponding roster move, exactly what he did last year.

Finally, two position battles have been effectively decided with the waiving of long snapper Adomitis and punter Chrisman. Both intended to challenge incumbents Clark Harris and Kevin Huber from their long-time starting jobs. After avoiding being unseated, Huber is now on track to set a franchise record for games played in a Bengals uniform. Harris is close behind, trailing Huber by just six games.

NFL COVID-19 List Updates: 1/4/22-1/5/22

Here are Tuesday and Wednesday’s activations from and placements on the reserve/COVID-19 lists:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: TE Jared Cook, LB Damon Lloyd (remains on IR)

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Bengals’ Trae Waynes Lands On Virus List

The Bengals will not have their highest-paid cornerback available against the Chiefs on Sunday. Trae Waynes is now on Cincinnati’s reserve/COVID-19 list.

This will mark yet another absence for Waynes, who has struggled to stay on the field since signing a big-ticket contract with the Bengals last year. Waynes missed all of last season because of a torn pectoral muscle and was down nearly three months this year due to a hamstring injury.

The former first-round pick has played in just four games since signing a three-year, $42MM deal with the Bengals in March 2020. Waynes returned from injury in Week 15 and started against the Broncos. However, Eli Apple started over him against the Ravens, with Chidobe Awuzie back after missing the Denver trip due to a positive coronavirus test. Waynes is due to count $16MM against the Bengals’ cap in 2022.

Wide receiver Trenton Irwin also landed on Cincinnati’s COVID list. Other than this Friday news, the Bengals are fairly healthy going into their matchup against the Chiefs. Backup quarterback Brandon Allen resides on the team’s virus list but has a chance to clear protocols by Sunday.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/2/21

Here are Thursday’s practice squad moves, with the list being updated throughout the day:

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

  • Signed: LS Steven Wirtel
  • Cut: DT Willington Previlon

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers