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Bengals v Colts: Jermaine Gresham is a gametime decision

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Cincinnati Bengals tight end Jermaine Gresham is being described as a gametime decision after suffering a back injury against the Steelers. ESPN NFL Insider John Clayton also doubts that A.J. Green will play.

Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati had second and goal from the Steelers five-yard line with 11:20 remaining in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Andy Dalton faked the handoff to Giovani Bernard and waited. Before Jermaine Gresham could initiate his route, he was assigned a quick block that was designed to give Clint Boling time to pick up Jason Worilds. After initial contact with the linebacker, Gresham navigated into the flats and caught the football at the three-yard line. After avoiding Antwon Blake's submarine tackle, Gresham leaned into the endzone with Lawrence Timmons and Mike Mitchell on his back.

Touchdown.

Gresham injury Steelers TD GIF

The Bengals were down 20-17... and a tight end. Gresham immediately clutched his left knee, in what appeared to be a leg injury. The leg wasn't bending -- like it was locked into place (my initial thought was a leg cramp). During practice this week, the team listed his injury as a back and he didn't practice on Wednesday and Thursday, and was limited on Friday.

ESPN NFL Insider John Clayton, appearing on ESPN 1000 in Chicago, called Gresham's availability on Sunday REALLY questionable.

"When they say that Jermaine Gresham is questionable, he really is," Clayton said. "This one is going to go down to the wire and that will be a game-time decision. They don't know for sure if he's going to be able to play. So now it takes away most of the pass-catching threats. All you have is Mohamed Sanu and a bunch of slot guys and now you're down to your third tight end because Tyler Eifert never came back from his injury.

"They really hit it great with the running game with Jeremy Hill and also Giovani Bernard, but I don't know if that's going to be enough to be able to do the scoring that's going to be needed and getting the passing game going," said Clayton"

Prior to the discussion about Gresham, Clayton speculated that A.J. Green won't play this Sunday.

"He's not going to be able to play. He hasn't been able clear all of the concussion protocols and the fact that he's gotten to Friday and has not been able to even pass a test to get any contact, I just don't think there's going to be enough time," said Clayton. "He'll have two more tests, one later (Friday night) and one (Saturday) but I think it's going to be too little, too late. And I think he is going to miss the game because of the concussion."

If A.J. Green is unable to play on Sunday, Cincinnati will have a wide receiver roster of Mohamed Sanu, Brandon Tate, Greg Little and Cobi Hamilton. All four receivers combined for eight receptions for 86 yards receiving in the month of December. Combine that with the possible loss of Jermaine Gresham?

Yikes.

(h/t @DaveWellmanB)