clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Vontaze Burfict Injury Update: Bengals activate Burfict; cut Greg Little

Tez is finally back and just in time for one of the Bengals' biggest games this season.

Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The Cincinnati Bengals have made a major roster move ahead of Sunday's matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The team announced Saturday that star linebacker Vontaze Burfict had been activated from the roster exemption list following his PUP stint. To make room for Burfict on the roster, the team has released wide receiver Greg Little. The move comes after Burfict practiced this past Thursday and Friday for the first time in over a year, while he was still on a roster exemption the team could have used for three weeks to allow him to practice but not play in games.

Because the team activated him, it looks safe to think he'll actually play Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Burfict hasn't played in a game since Week 8 of the 2014 season against the Baltimore Ravens, so it's fair to assume he'll be a little rusty and be eased into the game with less than 20 snaps this week. After leading the team in tackles in 2012 and 2013, Burfict suffered a knee injury in that Week 8 game against the Ravens and underwent arthroscopic surgery soon after.

When his knee wasn't responding to rehabilitation, he was placed on season-ending Injured Reserve on December 9th before eventually undergoing microfracture surgery to further repair the injury after the season ended. He's been sidelined since then while occasionally getting in work on the rehab field before he was able to fully practice this week.

As for Little, he made the initial 53-man roster this season after a hard-fought battle in training camp with several other receivers. He was inactive in each of the Bengals' first six games, so it was an easy decision to cut him, given he was the seventh receiver and didn't offer much on special teams. That said, don't be surprised to see Little back in Cincinnati if the Bengals suffer any injuries to receivers from here on out.

As for Burfict, it will be interesting to see how his knee responds to his first game action in over a year after he said he experienced no setbacks following his first day of practice on Thursday.