Jeremy Hill received bad news today before the Bengals and Cowboys even kicked off when Giovani Bernard was named the starting running back. Bernard went on to total 96 yards (50 rushing, 46 receiving) on 15 touches (9 rushes, 6 catches) while Hill finished with just 12 yards on four rushes, his worst line of the season.
Adding to his woes was a chest injury that he suffered in the second half that knocked him out of the game. Hill also appeared on the injury report all week and was limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday with the same injury.
The injury came on a run in which Hill appeared to land on the ball awkwardly while being tackled. He then went to the sideline favoring his arm and shoulder, though it was hard to tell what exactly was hurting him. It was later announced as a chest injury and the Bengals said he was questionable to return; he never did re-enter the game.
That may have been due to the Bengals being down 28-0, while Bernard is a better pass-catching back than Hill anyway. Rex Burkhead also saw a few snaps as a result of the Bengals needing more pass-catchers on the field, as well as due to Hill’s injury.
In five games this season, Hill has now mustered up just 233 rushing yards on 62 carries (3.8 avg) with three scores, but has failed to reach the end zone in three of five games. He also has just three catches for 37 yards, all of which came in Week 2.
If this injury so much as has Hill limited in practice this week, the Bengals will need to seriously consider signing another running back to the 53-man roster. They have only three right now: Hill, Bernard and Burkhead.
In fact, the Bengals shouldn’t be worried if they have to play Burkhead more. He’s shown plenty of promise in the limited touches he’s received, but he’s no Hill when it comes to pounding out yards between the tackles.
We’ll keep you posted as more details on Hill’s injury emerge.
Update: Hill told FOX 19’s Jeremy Rauch that he is “okay”. Nothing was mentioned by Marvin Lewis about Hill after the game.