As the Cincinnati Bengals trimmed their roster down to 53 players, they are expected to send players to injured reserve.
According to head coach Zac Taylor, promising rookie cornerback Cam Taylor-Britt will head to IR following core surgery on August 18th. While there is no set timetable for his return, we won’t be seeing him for at least the first month of the season. Core injuries can linger, so we may see him on the list longer. This seems to have opened the door for undrafted rookie Allan George to make the initial 53-man roster.
Defensive lineman Khalid Kareem will also begin the season on the list, as he recovers from a hamstring injury. Kareem had flashes last season, so one can assume he will be back on the active roster when he is cleared. Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com seems to think the team may be in the defensive line market as players clear waivers.
Putting these two on IR keeps them on the team but does not have them count against the 53-man roster. The players will be inactive for at least four weeks, so roster spots will have to open up when they return.
Zac Taylor tells us tomorrow they will place Cam Taylor-Britt and Khalid Kareem on IR.— Marisa Contipelli (@BengalsMarisa) August 30, 2022
Among others who could land on short-term IR include tight end Mitchell Wilcox, who is expected to start the season on the sidelines. This preseason, he battled with Thaddeus Moss for the third tight end spot. Moss was waived, so Wilcox will be in the tight end room behind Hayden Hurst and Drew Sample, who appears to be on track for Week 1 after a knee injury of his own.
Another name to watch for is backup tackle Isaiah Prince, who is still sideline with a biceps injury. It’s unclear how much longer Prince and Wilcox are expected to be sidelined.
Once Kareem and Taylor-Britt head to IR, one of the freed-up roster spots is expected to go to wide receiver Mike Thomas, who was released today as a vested veteran, so he’s not subject to waivers. Taylor said the Bengals hope to re-sign Thomas, who has become a key special teams player.
And just like that, Zac says yes, they are hopeful to get Thomas back.— Jay Morrison (@JayMorrisonATH) August 30, 2022
As the Bengals get creative to keep players in the organization, some tougher decisions loom when players are back to full health and ready to be activated.