It was the hit that ended his season. In early August, Ben Utecht was blown up during Training Camp which left the Tight End unconscious for several minutes. He was carted off and sent to a local hospital near Georgetown College. Now, Utecht will be out for the season.
Utecht is the second of three Tight Ends to on IR before the season even starts -- the first is Reggie Kelly, the third is Matt Sherry (who must first clear waivers). As Geoff Hobson writes, the Bengals are down to "75 players, meeting the Sept. 1 roster maximum. Rookie tackle Andre Smith doesn't count because of a two-week roster exemption."
As for Tight End, the Bengals leading candidates to start, are Daniel Coats and Chase Coffman. If the team decides to take a third Tight End, J.P. Foschi or Darius Hill could get the nod -- personally, I think it's Foschi. Losing Kelly, Utecht and Sherry, isn't that disastrous on the field -- lockerroom presence is another matter. The biggest issue the Bengals see at Tight End is inexperience and production. Coats has 31 games under his belt, but only 14 receptions. One would assume that Coats will take on the role Reggie Kelly would have performed. Between Coats, Coffman, Foschi, Hill and Kolo Kapanui, they combine for 20 career receptions.