Takkarist McKinley will not make his Bengals debut this week, needing to go through the NFL’s COVID-19 protocol. But the team will have a key pass rusher in uniform after some time away.
The Bengals activated Sam Hubbard from IR Saturday. The third-year defensive end has missed the past three games because of an elbow injury.
Cincinnati also moved John Ross to its IR list. While Ross has not been active since Week 6 and has not caught a pass since Week 1, he has run into multiple injury issues during another disappointing season. After a foot injury shelved him recently, more foot trouble emerged in practice this week, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets.
This setback came shortly after Bengals coaches had a conversation with Ross about working as a cornerback, Garafolo notes, but the injury came on a play in which Ross was playing his usual position. None of this is good for a player who joined the Bengals as a top-10 pick.
The team did not pick up Ross’ option and has not featured him prominently this season, using younger players Tee Higgins and Auden Tate over Ross. While Ross requested a trade, the Bengals did not move him. Ross’ contract expires at season’s end. The Combine’s 40-yard dash record holder is not on track to enter free agency with much momentum.
Hubbard will return to a defensive line that no longer houses Carlos Dunlap, whom the Bengals traded during Hubbard’s injury hiatus. Hubbard will rejoin Carl Lawson in Cincy’s lineup, while McKinley — added on waivers this week — is set to join the incumbents next week.
The Bengals also placed cornerback Darius Phillips on IR and promoted guard Quinton Spain, wide receiver Stanley Morgan, cornerback Jalen Davis and defensive tackle Kahlil McKenzie ahead of their matchup with the Steelers.
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