For Cincinnati, the following players are inactive against the Houston tonight:
- Wide receiver A.J. Green
- Offensive lineman Clint Boling
- Linebacker Vontaze Burfict
- Tight end Tyler Eifert
- Tight end Tyler Kroft
- Quarterback Jeff Driskel
- Cornerback Keivarae Russell
As expected, A.J. Green is out today after being reportedly shut down for the rest of the season. It looked like Green will play again this year, but after a significant hamstring injury, the Bengals are playing it safe with their franchise receiver.
The same is true of tight end Tyler Eifert, who is also reportedly being shut down for the final two games. Backup Tyler Kroft is also out, which means C.J. Uzomah is getting the start in Houston.
With Green out, this means rookies Cody Core and Alex Erickson will be getting more receiver snaps in hopes of not only earning more playing time this year, but bolstering their standing with the team next year. The same is true of James Wright, who is back after sitting out with a knee injury last week.
Linebacker Vontaze Burfict is out due to a concussion suffered in Week 15. It’s unclear if the Bengals will also shut him down in the same manner they are with Eifert and Green. With Burfict out, P.J. Dawson has been called up to the practice squad and is active tonight.
Rookie offensive lineman Christian Westerman is active for the first time this season thanks to the injury to Clint Boling. Westerman is the only Bengal to be inactive in every game thus far. That’s because Boling Kevin Zeitler has managed to stay healthy and play every game thus far, but Boling’s shoulder injury will finally cost him a game.
Cedric Ogbuehi is getting his first start at left tackle with Andrew Whitworth kicking down to left guard to replace Boling. May God have mercy on Andy Dalton’s soul tonight.
Jake Fisher is getting his second start at right tackle. It’s nice to see more of what Fisher can do after he showed some nice progress last week in his first start at right tackle. It wouldn’t be surprising to still see Winston getting some snaps at right tackle, too.
As for the Texans, their inactives are:
- Running back Lamar Miller
- Quarterback Brandon Weeden
- Offensive lineman Oday Aboushi
- Defensive lineman Ufomba Kamalu
- Offensive lineman Josh Walker
- Cornerback Denzel Rice
- Linebacker Brennan Scarlett
No surprises here as the Texans are as healthy as they’ve been all season with Lamar Miller being the exception this week. The veteran running back is battling an ankle injury that cost him all three practices this week, which is why he is inactive tonight.
Former Bengals cornerback Jonathan Joseph is active tonight, despite being listed as questionable with a rib injury. Expect him to spend a lot of this game covering Brandon LaFell on the boundary, which means Tyler Boyd needs to step up big time in the slot.