The Cincinnati Bengals have ended the season of linebacker Vontaze Burfict by placing him on the Reserve/Injured list. Burfict, the Bengals’ leading tackler the last two seasons and a 2013 season Pro Bowl selection, remains in rehab from a knee injury suffered Oct. 26 vs. Baltimore.
It was originally reported that Burfict underwent a minor knee scope in Week 11 that was expected to sideline him for just a few weeks. However, it's been more than a few weeks, and it hasn't since appeared realistic that Burfict would return. He's been seen limping and favoring that knee while walking around over the past week or two.
Burfict, who missed time due to concussions earlier this season, has played and started five games, with 29 tackles, two passes defensed and a fumble recovery this season.
In his place, Cincinnati activated rookie QB AJ McCarron of Alabama to the roster from the Reserve/Non-Football Injury list. McCarron was not cleared to play or practice in preseason or the early regular season, due to a shoulder injury that predated the start of training camp.
He was cleared to return to practice on a roster exemption on Nov. 18. He has practiced with the team since, and yesterday marked the final day of the exemption period.
McCarron (6-3, 220; Alabama) was a fifth-round Bengals selection in the 2014 Draft. He was with the Bengals in preseason but did not play or practice, due to a shoulder injury that predated the start of training camp.
Per league rules, players on the reserve/NFI list are ineligible to practice or play through the first six weeks of the regular season. If a player isn't activated after week six, teams have a six-week window (at the end of Week 11) to determine that player's placement for the rest of the season.