The Cincinnati Bengals have some key injuries they’ll be overcoming after the bye week ends.
One of those will be to h-back Ryan Hewitt who was injured in Week 4 and has yet to play since. Against the Browns, Hewitt caught 16-yard pass before being hit low by safety Jabrill Peppers. Hewitt left the game and was quickly ruled out.
The initial fear was Hewitt sustained a significant knee injury. While it doesn’t appear to be too bad, it was enough to keep Hewitt sidelined in Week 5.
And even with the bye, it looks like Hewitt may not return for the Week 7 matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer, adding he may not return until November.
Depending on how quickly the injury heals and when he could resume practicing, Hewitt could be back anywhere from the Oct. 29 game against Indianapolis or when the team heads to Jacksonville on Nov. 5.
Hewitt has been the starting h-back since joining the Bengals as an undrafted free agent out of Stanford in 2014. He’s been utilized in multiple rolls in Cincinnati, including at fullback and tight end.
Mostly used as a blocker, Hewitt has just 20 career catches for 198 yards and no scores in 50 career games. He’s missed just one game in his career coming into 2017, but it looks like he’ll at least double that if he misses Week 7.
What makes this injury worse is Tyler Eifert is out for the rest of the season due to a back injury. That makes the tight end/h-back depth very thin going forward.
The good news is Cincinnati already has a promising replacement for Hewitt on the roster in Cethan Carter. The undrafted free agent out of Nebraska has been a solid blocker, though his pass-catching is a work in progress after a bad drop in Week 5.
We’ve also seen Tyler Kroft step up in a big way at tight end. That may allow C.J. Uzomah to spend time at h-back if Carter can’t get the job done.