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D’Ante Smith to have surgery and go on IR; Jackson Carman or Trey Hill will start at RG vs. Lions

Smith was in line to make his first NFL start.

NFL: SEP 30 Jaguars at Bengals Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

When the week began, it looked like D’Ante Smith could be making his first NFL start for the Cincinnati Bengals.

Unfortunately, Smith suffered a knee injury in practice Wednesday, which turned out to be a meniscus injury that will require surgery and land him on injured reserve, according to head coach Zac Taylor.

In addition, Jackson Carman or Trey Hill will be starting at right guard vs. the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

With the 139th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Bengals took Smith out of ECU, where he was a standout left tackle. However, Smith suffered an undisclosed injury in 2020 that led to him missing most of the 2021 season as a redshirt senior.

There were actually some medical red flags on Smith coming into the draft, but the Bengals felt he was worth taking a flyer on in Round 4.

The good news is Carman just came off the NFL COVID-19 list, so he’ll be eligible to play Sunday. However, he hasn’t practiced the last two days, so the Bengals may opt to go with Hill, a sixth-round rookie out of Georgia.

It would be nice to see what Hill is capable of, but the Bengals invested a second-round pick in Carman, so he’ll very likely get the call if he’s up to speed by Sunday.

Here is an explanation on how Carman got off the COVID-19 list so fast.

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