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Bengals Linebacker Thomas Howard Placed On IR With Torn ACL, Roddrick Muckelroy Returns

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Cincinnati Bengals outside linebacker showed up on Thursday's injury report as a limited participate during practice, which means at some point during the position drills, or at least a portion of the team drills, Howard hurt his knee. It drove speculation, along with an Instragram picture from Roddrick Muckelroy suggesting he's returning, that Howard's injury could be more serious.

It was.

The Cincinnati Bengals announced on Friday that Thomas Howard is being placed on IR after tearing an ACL during practice on Thursday. The team signed former linebacker Roddrick Muckelroy, who failed to make the 53-man roster after final cuts last month, back to the roster. Marvin Lewis talks about the loss.

"It was an unfortunate thing anytime a player like Thomas, a young talent, gets hurt. You have to move on. It’s a freak thing that happens but we were lucky to get Muckelroy back here this morning and get going from there," head coach Marvin Lewis said.

Muckelroy finished second on the team with 19 tackles during the preseason, tied with Vincent Rey who is listed as Howard's backup linebacker on the weakside. Muckelroy also posted a quarterback sack.

Howard, a free agent signing in 2011, replaced an injured Keith Rivers, who missed the entire season last year. Howard went on to post a team-leading 120 tackles, a quarterback sack, four passes defensed and two forced fumbles.

This is Howard's final season under the two-year contract he signed in 2011.

The Bengals currently have eight players on Injured Reserve, including Kyle Cook who is designed for return later in the season. Including Howard, the IR this year includes cornerbacks Brandon Ghee, Shaun Prater, Taveon Rogers, safeties Tony Dye and Robert Sands and offensive guard Travelle Wharton.