The Bengals have placed Cedric Ogbuehi on season-ending injured reserve due to a shoulder injury suffered in Saturday’s loss to Houston.
The team announced the move on Friday, and Tra Carson is being signed from the practice squad to fill Ogbuehi’s roster spot. According to Bengals.com’s Geoff Hobson, Ogbuehi has a rotator cuff injury that should not keep him out of OTAs.
Ogbuehi: partially torn rotator cuff. Ready for spring camps— Geoff Hobson (@GeoffHobsonCin) December 30, 2016
It’s unclear if this will require surgery, but either way, it’s just more reason to doubt his future as a starting tackle in Cincinnati. This is the latest setback in what’s been a disastrous first two NFL seasons for the former first-round pick. Ogbuehi opened the year at right tackle before being benched in November as he struggled mightily in every game this year.
Entering Week 17, Pro Football Focus ranks Ogbuehi 65th out of 74 eligible offensive tackles. He got a chance to start at left tackle in Houston last week, but struggled to stop the Texans’ pass rush as he allowed two sacks and several more pressures.
This injury only increases the chances of the Bengals re-signing Andrew Whitworth this offseason and keeping him at left tackle. Also, a tackle could be drafted high in the 2017 NFL Draft.
As for Carson, he’s being signed from the practice squad because of Jeremy Hill being questionable with a knee injury this week. Hill managed to get a limited practice in on Friday after missing Wednesday and Thursday. If he is out, Rex Burkhead figures to start with Carson and Cedric Peerman being the backups.
An undrafted free agent out of Texas A&M, Carson joined the Bengals this summer as he battled for a spot on the final roster. He appeared in all four preseason games, leading the Bengals in rushing yards (85).
Thanks to Peerman’s broken forearm, Carson had a chance to make the final roster as the fourth running back, but the Bengals opted to keep just three backs. But since then, Giovani Bernard has landed on I.R. with a torn ACL, and now Hill is battling knee, shoulder and chest injuries heading into the regular-season finale.
Carson has been on the practice squad all season, so this will be his first time on an NFL roster. Hopefully, we get to see him get a few touches vs Baltimore this Sunday.
And with Burkhead and Peerman hitting free agency, it’s possible Carson enters next year’s training camp as the No. 2 back behind Hill since Bernard may still be recovering from his ACL tear.