The Cincinnati Bengals are placing cornerback Darqueze Dennard on season-ending Injured/Reserve and activating offensive lineman Cedric Ogbuehi to fill his roster spot, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Dennard suffered a significant shoulder injury during Sunday's 34-31 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, and it was reported earlier he would need season-ending surgery. It's not much of a surprise that Ogbuehi is the one taking Dennard's roster spot for the time being. The rookie lineman was set to have his three-week practice window expire next Monday after coming off the NFI list nearly three weeks ago.
This is only the second roster move the Bengals have made this season, the first of which was adding Vontaze Burfict to the 53-man roster and cutting Greg Little to make room for the linebacker. Dennard is the first Bengals player to be added to I.R. during the 2015 regular season.
With Dennard out, that will leave the Bengals with just five corners on the 53-man roster with only four of them being healthy. Adam Jones is dealing with a foot injury that cost him a full week of practice last week before he was declared inactive against the Cardinals. It's still unclear if Jones will be healthy enough to play this week against the St. Louis Rams.
As for Ogbuehi, the 21st-overall pick out of Texas A&M in this year's NFL draft, he's been practicing now for two weeks after being given the designation to do so prior to the team's Week 10 matchup with the Houston Texans. Ogbuehi tore his ACL during A&M's Liberty Bowl game in December 2014, which caused him to open this season on the Non-Football Injury (NFI) list and be ineligible to play in the Bengals' first six games while rehabbing his injury.
The addition of Ogbuehi to the roster comes with the Bengals offensive line struggling over the past six games while allowing Andy Dalton to be sacked 17 times over that span. This, after the line allowed just two sacks in the first four games and 21 times in all of 2014. It's unclear if the Bengals have any plans to play Ogbuehi or even activate him to the gameday roster this week, but the Bengals could certainly use some help along the line, especially at right tackle.
Andre Smith has been a major liability this season and allowed two more sacks during Sunday's loss to the Cardinals, one of which led to a fourth-quarter fumble, which Arizona converted into three points. Ogbuehi was drafted with the belief he'd be best served at right tackle, though he played both left and right tackle and even at guard during college. It's not clear where the Bengals feel he'll help them most, but with the line's struggles, maybe we'll see him getting snaps in the coming weeks. Something has to change if this line is going to hold up enough for the Bengals to win the AFC North and make a deep playoff run.