If right tackle Marshall Newhouse goes down on Sunday for any reason (something significant or just a poke in the eye), it won't be the recently signed Jamon Meredith or the versatile Tanner Hawkinson to replace him. Speaking of Hawkinson, are we still entertaining the idea that he'll be on this team much longer? They're not even comfortable with him as a backup... at least that's the appearance of it?
It will be left guard Clint Boling, who contributed with his first career snap at offensive tackle last week against the Texans. Andre Smith suffered a triceps tear in the first quarter and Newhouse departed for a fourth down snap after getting a beefy finger in his right eye.
"At first I had a little blurry vision, and it took some getting used to and I was like, 'let's go for it and see what happens,'" said Newhouse, his right eye still bright red hours later. "Then they gave me a little Tylenol and said, 'Hey, buck up,' so I did. As long as my leg wasn't broken, I wasn't on the ground writhing and stuff, so I figured I'd make the most of it."
The injury left a vacancy at right tackle, which was filled by Boling for a failed fourth down conversion from the Texans one-yard line.
"There's a little bit of unrest, for sure — sure Clint can handle it, but it's not an easy job," Bengals veteran left tackle Andrew Whitworth said.
Said guard Kevin Zeitler: "That Clint was able to come in and that he didn't get destroyed on that play, we were able to deal with it, no matter how crazy. It's such a blessing as an o-line to have those guys who can come in."
"It’s all part of the job," said Boling via Bengals.com. "You adjust. I haven't played it a whole lot, but at the same time I’m used (to) it. Guys get hurt and there are emergencies and you have to be ready to adjust."
Newhouse returned by the next series and contained J.J. Watt just enough as not to be a disruption in the passing game.
"We just wanted to be consistent and solid and not lunge on him and all that stuff," said Newhouse after Sunday's win. "He’s a great player though. He makes you honest every play, every snap in the first, second, third and fourth quarter. I think I did pretty well for myself. I hold myself to a high standard. After all, we got the win and I’m happy."
Cincinnati also took care of some administrative work this week, placing Andre Smith on season-ending injured reserve. They invited Jamon Meredith and Charles Brown for a workout, signing the former.
Meredith is a former fifth-rounder out of Green Bay who has also played for the Indianapolis Colts, Buffalo Bills, Detroit Lions, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he played 30 games including 20 starts from 2012-13. Meredith's combined Pro Football Focus grade from 2012 through 2014 is -19.4 overall with a -5.2 run blocking score and a -11.2 grade in pass protection.
Charles Brown was waived on Nov. 22, 2014 by the New York Giants after signing a one-year deal worth $795,000. Brown was a second-round pick of the New Orleans Saints during the 2010 NFL draft. He started 22 games in four seasons, including 14 last season.