The Bengals picked up Kansas State DE Jordan Willis in Round 3 of the NFL Draft. Willis tallied 20 sacks and 31.5 total tackles for loss over the past 2 seasons and then crushed the Scouting Combine. Willis ranked 93rd percentile or better in the 3-cone drill, broad jump, vertical and 40-yard dash at 6'4 and 255 pounds. Willis might be blocked initially by Michael Johnson but should work into the rotation right away and might battle for Johnson's job before the end of his rookie year. Willis looks very intriguing for IDP dynasty rookie drafts.
The Bengals rolled the dice on Oklahoma RB Joe Mixon with the 48th overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft. Mixon’s off-field transgression — he punched a woman in 2014 — caused him to drop in the draft and will continue to haunt him as a pro. But on the field, this is a 1st-round talent. Perhaps the best RB in the class. Mixon shows good patience, power and burst as a runner. And he’s a big-time weapon in the passing game. He exploded for 1,274 rushing yards on just 187 carries this past year and averaged a robust 6.8 yards per carry across 2 college seasons. Mixon added 65 total receptions for 894 yards (13.8 yards per catch) and 9 TDs. And he doesn’t turn 21 until July. Mixon joins a crowded backfield in Cincinnati alongside Jeremy Hill and Gio Bernard. But Hill has disappointed since his rookie season, while Bernard is rehabbing from his 2nd torn ACL. Mixon certainly has a shot — and might be the favorite — to lead the 2017 backfield in touches.
The Bengals nabbed Washington WR John Ross with the 9th overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft. Ross was consistently the fastest player on the field during his breakout 1,150-yard, 17-TD 2016 campaign. He backed that up with a Combine-record 4.22-second 40 time. That speed should immediately translate to the next level. Ross also flashed the ability to beat press coverage and was dangerous after the catch at Washington. He goes just 5’11 and 188 pounds, though, and comes with a lengthy injury history. Ross played through a torn right MCL and meniscus in 2014, missed all of 2015 with a torn left ACL and meniscus and played through a torn labrum in his shoulder this past season. It’s certainly fair to wonder how his body will hold up as a pro. But a healthy Ross should be a big-play machine. In Cincinnati, he’ll slide in as the #2 WR behind A.J. Green. That obviously caps the target upside, but Ross never projected as a volume hog anyway. And he could feast on single coverage with Green drawing attention.
Bengals TE Tyler Eifert (back) won't commit to participating in OTAs but does expect to be ready for training camp. “I’ll be ready and healthy and strong and be ready to go by the time it’s go time,” he said. “I’m close.” Eifert is rehabbing from late-December back surgery. That injury delayed his 2016 debut and cost him the final 2 games of the season. Eifert has missed 42% of Cincinnati's games since joining the team in 2013.
Texans QB Tom Savage left in the 1st half of Sunday's game against the Titans to be checked for a concussion. He returned to take a knee at the end of the half, but QB Brock Osweiler was back out there to start the 3rd quarter. We'll update this situation when we learn more.
Update: Savage was reportedly reevaluated for a concussion at halftime and then ruled out.
As expected, Bengals OLB Vontaze Burfict (concussion) is inactive for today's finale against the Ravens. Vincent Rey will start in his place. He and Karlos Dansby are solid IDP bets for Week 17.
ESPN's Bob Holtzman reports that the Bengals will likely hold OLB Vontaze Burfict out of Sunday's season finale against the Ravens. Burfict still had yet to clear the league concussion protocol as of Thursday and missed the 1st 2 days of practice this week. He's also listed on the injury report with a knee issue. We'll confirm Burfict's status whenever official word arrives, but expect Vincent Rey to start in his place and Karlos Dansby to lead Cincinnati 'backers in snaps again.
Bengals TE Tyler Eifert underwent back surgery on Tuesday, HC Marvin Lewis said. We don't have any details on the procedure or how long Eifert will be sidelined. But as far as we're concerned, there's no such thing as minor back surgery. Eifert has already missed 27 games through 4 seasons and will be 1 of the biggest injury-risks in 2017 fantasy drafts.
Bengals HC Marvin Lewis confirmed Wednesday that WR A.J. Green (hamstring) won't play in this weekend's finale against the Ravens. So he'll fall 36 yards short of his 6th straight 1,000-yard season. Brandon LaFell, Tyler Boyd and Cody Core will serve as Cincinnati's top 3 WRs vs. Baltimore.
Bengals TE Tyler Eifert (back) has been placed on IR. He'll miss Sunday's finale vs. the Ravens, bringing him up to 8 missed games on the season. Eifert has still never played a full 16-game slate and has been sidelined for a total of 27 games through 4 seasons. He'll be a risk/reward pick in 2017 fantasy football drafts.
Bengals DE Michael Johnson (shoulder) is active for tonight's game against the Texans. He doesn't make for a strong IDP play against Houston, though.
As expected, Bengals WR A.J. Green is inactive for tonight's game against the Texans. That leaves more targets on the field for WRs Brandon LaFell and Tyler Boyd, especially with TE Tyler Eifert also out.
Fox Sports' Jay Glazer reports that the Bengals' doctors won't let WR A.J. Green play tonight. He's been practicing for a couple of weeks now but evidently hasn't received full clearance. The fact that Cincinnati has nothing to play for probably has something to do with the decision, too. Green needs to head back to fantasy benches. With TE Tyler Eifert also out for tonight's game vs. Houston, WRs Brandon LaFell and Tyler Boyd should dominate targets.
Update: ESPN's Adam Schefter confirms Glazer's reports and adds that Green isn't expected to play Week 17, either.
The Bengals might hold WR A.J. Green (hamstring) out of Saturday night's game against the Texans, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Green has said all week that he'll play, so it's unclear what's changed. Of course, he's returning from a significant injury, and Cincinnati has nothing to play for. The situation is complicated by the fact that Bengals-Texans doesn't kick off until 8:25 pm ET tonight. You need to have an alternative lined up if you plan on starting Green. He'll be a risk/reward WR2 if active.
The Bengals have ruled OLB Vontaze Burfict out for Saturday's game against the Texans because of his concussion. Vincent Rey should start in his place and carries some IDP upside.
Bengals TE Tyler Eifert (back) has been ruled out for Saturday night's game against the Texans. We don't have any details on his injury -- or whether he'll be back for Week 17. C.J. Uzomah will step in as Cincinnati's lead TE but would be a desperation fantasy play. Eifert's absence keeps Brandon LaFell and Tyler Boyd on the WR3 radar, despite the return of A.J. Green.
The Bengals listed WR A.J. Green (hamstring) as questionable for Saturday night's game against the Texans. He was limited in practice all week but said Thursday that he'll play this weekend. We haven't heard that he'll be limited, but that's certainly possible coming off a 4-week absence. Consider Green a risk/reward WR2 for Week 16.
Bengals TE Tyler Eifert has yet to practice this week due to a back issue. We don't have any details, but he missed time earlier this season with a back injury. Consider him questionable for Saturday night's game against the Texans -- and check back tomorrow for another update.
Bengals WR A.J. Green (hamstring) told reporters on Thursday that he'll play against the Texans on Saturday night. Considering Cincinnati has nothing to play for, the fact that they're allowing Green to play tells us that they're not worried about the hammy. We'd feel comfy getting him back into fantasy lineups, even against the league's 4th-ranked WR defense.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that a "team source" said OLB Vontaze Burfict looks unlikely to play against Houston on Saturday night because of his concussion symptoms following last Sunday's game. As we mentioned previously, Burfict passed concussion tests during the loss to the Steelers and returned to action but then self-reported symptoms in the days following the game. He'll need to pass through the protocol before playing again, and the shortened week leaves less time. IDP owners should make sure to have a replacement on hand and plan on not having Burfict in the lineup.
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