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Bengals evaluating whether James Wright’s injury is significant

The Bengals wide receiver went down with a knee injury on Sunday. The team is not yet sure if and when he’ll return this season.

NFL: Buffalo Bills at Cincinnati Bengals Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals saw two offensive lineman and a wide receiver go down in Sunday’s game against the Eagles with injuries. Both lineman (Jake Fisher and Andrew Whitworth) are fine and practiced on Wednesday. The same might not be true for the receiver, James Wright, who sat out during Wednesday’s practice.

Wright injured his right knee during the game on Sunday, the same knee he hurt in 2014 against the Buccaneers. That first injury led to two surgeries, including microfracture surgery and Wright missing more than a year of playing time. After spending all of last season and most of this offseason recovering, Wright was cleared to practice on August 1 and has slowly worked his way back. In the process, he’s been dealing with hamstring injuries, limiting him in numerous practices and keeping him out of games against the Cowboys and Giants. He’s also been held out of practice to manage what his surgically repaired knee can handle, so it’s clear the Bengals had some concerns regarding how the knee would hold up.

Now, the Bengals are “trying to ascertain” if Wright’s knee injury, suffered on Sunday against the Eagles, is significant. When asked a question about practice squad wide receiver Jake Kumerow in his weekly mailbag,’s Geoff Hobson had this to say, subtly dropping the news on Wright:

Wide receiver Jake Kumerow just needs some game snaps. He’s had two years to get used to the system on the practice squad and I thought he looked pretty good in this past training camp. He didn’t show up much in the pre-season games and he’s had to wait behind Core and Wright. He may get on the roster in the next few weeks because they’re trying to ascertain if Wright has suffered a significant knee injury.

From what we’ve seen of Kumerow in spring ball and camp, he’s got great hands and is a nice, big target (6-5, 210) with a good feel for the game. He’s not a burner so he’ll have to compensate by improving getting off the line quickly and smoothly diagnosing leverage.

This season, Wright has 93 yards on 11 catches, most of which have come since A.J. Green was injured in Week 11. It’s never the good time to get injured, but Wright has a way of getting injured at the worst times. In 2014, his injury came during his best game of the year, a five catch, 59 yard game in a win over the Buccaneers. That season also saw Marvin Jones and Tyler Eifert sidelined with injuries.

Now, Wright is injured with Green on the mend from a hamstring injury, at a time when the Bengals need receivers to step up. Anytime the No. 1 receiver is out, it's an opportunity for others to shine (as Tyler Boyd and Cody Core have done). Hopefully Wright will still have that opportunity this season.