Shark Bites

Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict drew a 4-game suspension Friday for a PED violation. He’ll certainly appeal, but we’ll see how that goes. We’ll also see how the situation affects a Bengals LB corps that added Preston Brown in free agency Friday

The Bengals on Friday signed LB Preston Brown to a 1-year deal. That’s a surprisingly small commitment for a guy who has started since entering the league, given the money flying to other LBs early in free agency. Brown should be the favorite to start in the middle for Cincinnati this season but might not be in on all sub packages. We’ll see, too, how Vontaze Burfict’s PED suspension impacts Brown’s role.

The Bengals have signed TE Tyler Eifert to a 1-year deal, per ESPN's Adam Schefter. We never heard Eifert connected to another team, which likely means he didn't draw much interest on the open market. That's not a big surprise considering he's missed 41 games over his 5 NFL seasons and is coming off back and knee surgeries. Eifert turns just 28 in September and has scored 18 TDs in his last 23 games, so there's upside here. But he can't be viewed as more than a TE2 in 2018 fantasy drafts.

TE Tyler Eifert has been medically cleared for OTAs and to play in 2018, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. The free-agent-to-be underwent back surgery in October -- his 2nd in a 10-month span. He also had a procedure to remove a cyst on his knee in November and has ankle, shoulder, neck and elbow injuries on his resume. Eifert has been productive when healthy and is still only 27. But that injury history will make him an interesting case in free agency -- and an extremely risky pick in 2018 fantasy drafts.

3:12pm EST 12/31/17

Bengals RB Joe Mixon (ankle) is active for today’s game against the Ravens. He was reportedly a game-time decision and will be playing at less than 100%. Mixon is a low-end fantasy starter vs. a tough Baltimore run defense.

The Bengals expect RB Joe Mixon (ankle) to play against the Ravens today, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, although a final decision won't be made until pregame warmups. That suggests Mixon won't be anywhere close to 100%. Throw in a tough Baltimore run defense, and the rookie looks like a low-end RB2 for Week 17.

Bengals OLB Vontaze Burfict (shoulder) is doubtful for Sunday's finale against the Ravens. Burfict missed practice all week after suffering the injury against the Lions in Week 16. Cincinnati has allowed 149 rushing yards per game in the 5 contests Burfict has missed this season, so this is good news for Ravens RB Alex Collins.

Bengals RB Joe Mixon (ankle) is questionable for this weekend's game against the Ravens after putting in limited practices on Thursday and Friday. We'll look for an update on his status on Sunday morning, but his game doesn't kick off until 4:25 pm ET. Mixon will be a volume-based RB2 if he suits up. Ditto for Gio Bernard if Mixon ends up inactive.

Bengals OLB Vontaze Burfict missed his 2nd straight day of practice Thursday with a shoulder injury that knocked him out of Week 15's win over the Lions. That makes Burfict look unlikely to play in Sunday's finale against the Ravens. Burfict's absence would be bad news for the Bengals run D. He missed clashes with the Bears and Vikings recently. Opponents that combined for 356 rushing yards.

Bengals RB Joe Mixon (ankle) returned to a limited practice on Thursday. That gives him a shot to play against the Ravens this weekend. We'll get another update on the rookie tomorrow.

Bengals RB Joe Mixon (ankle) did not practice on Wednesday. He went down early in last weekend's game and never returned. The rookie seems unlikely to play in Sunday's finale vs. the Ravens. That'd leave feature-back duties to Gio Bernard.

Bengals RB Joe Mixon headed back to the locker room in the 1st quarter of Sunday's game against the Lions with an ankle injury. He's officially questionable to return. We'll pass along an update when we get one.

UPDATE: Mixon only played 7 snaps against the Lions.

Bengals S George Iloka (shoulder) is active for today's game against the Lions. Use him as you normally would (which is way down the DB list) in IDP leagues.

Bengals OLB Vontaze Burfict didn't appear on the team's final injury report after Friday's practice, which indicates he has cleared the league concussion protocol. Burfict put in a full practice Friday and should be set to go for Sunday's game against the Lions. That certainly will help the Cincinnati defense, but the Bengals haven't played the run strong all year. Lions RB Theo Riddick remains a solid fantasy option for Week 16. The defense will also benefit from getting CB Dre Kirkpatrick back after 2 games down with a concussion. That makes for a solid top 3 of Kirkpatrick, Darqueze Dennard and William Jackson to challenge Detroit's wideouts.

Bengals RB Joe Mixon (concussion) put in a full week of practice and isn’t listed on the final injury report. He’ll return as Cincinnati’s lead back against the Lions on Sunday. Mixon tallied 22 and 26 touches in his last 2 full outings.

Bengals RB Joe Mixon (concussion) was listed as a full participant in Wednesday's practice. That puts him on track to be cleared for this weekend's game against the Lions. That's a plus matchup for Mixon, but Cincinnati's crumbling offense lowers his fantasy ceiling and floor.

Bengals S Shawn Williams (hamstring) is active for today’s game against the Vikings. He returned to a full practice Friday after being limited the 1st 2 days. Williams is merely a fringe IDP option anyway in a low-upside matchup.

Bengals RB Joe Mixon (concussion) has been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Vikings. He put in limited practices on Thursday and Friday, so he's at least made some progress through the protocol. We'd tentatively expect him back for Week 16. Gio Bernard will again serve as Cincinnati's feature back tomorrow. But a matchup with the league's 2nd-ranked RB defense makes him just a borderline RB2 play.

The Bengals have ruled out OLB Vontaze Burfict for the 2nd straight week with a concussion. With Nick Vigil already on IR and Kevin Minter landing on IR this week, Cincinnati will be without all 3 starting LBs in Minnesota on Sunday. For IDP purposes, Jordan Evans and Vincent Rey are in play. The whole situation only enhances an already positive fantasy outlook for Vikings RB Latavius Murray. CB Dre Kirkpatrick (concussion) will also miss his 2nd straight game. S Shawn Williams (hamstring) is questionable. He's not an IDP factor even if active.

Bengals RB Joe Mixon (concussion) is listed as questionable for this weekend’s game against the Vikings. He put in limited practices on Thursday and Friday, but it looks like he still has at least 1 stage of the protocol to pass through. We’ll look for another update on his status this afternoon — and we’ll find out his official status by noon ET on Sunday. RB Gio Bernard will again operate as Cincinnati's feature back if Mixon is out.


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