The Cincinnati Bengals are in the middle of mandatory minicamp, and while there is a lot of practice footage coming out of Paycor Stadium, one notable face that has been missing is defensive tackle DJ Reader.
According to Bengals.com’s Geoff Hobson, that’s because he’s dealing with gout in one of his toes, but that he’s expected to be ready for training camp later this summer.
Gout, according to the CDC, is a form of inflammatory arthritis that can be very painful and often affects the big toe joint. When sufferers of gout have flairs, the symptoms typically include swelling, intense pain, redness, and burning. Gout can also go into remission and is caused when there is too much uric acid in the body due to a condition called hyperuricemia.
Reader being held out of minicamp is just a precaution, and not worth reading too much into, but, as USA Today’s Chris Roling pointed out, Reader missed all but five games in 2020 and then missed seven games during the regular season in 2022. However, when Reader is in the game, he’s a dominant force in the middle of the field against the run.
Reader had a PFF overall defensive grade of 85.2 in 2022, which led the Bengals defense. His 85.2 overall defensive grade was the seventh highest in the NFL among interior defensive linemen, behind only Chris Jones, Dexter Lawrence, Aaron Donald, Quinnen Williams, Cameron Heyward, and Michael Pierce (Pierce only played in three games in 2022). Reader is entering the last year of his contract with the Bengals.
PFF recently said Reader is their ninth-ranked defensive tackle in the NFL, and an expected extension is predicted to run somewhere in the three-year, $48 million range.
Stay tuned for more updates on Reader as the story develops, but hopefully, there is no story.