Shark Bites

Bengals RB Joe Mixon (knee) remained sidelined for Thursday's practice. There was some hope that he'd be back for this weekend's game against Atlanta, but that's looking unlikely. Gio Bernard will again serve as Cincinnati's feature back vs. a defense yielding massive pass-catching production to RBs.

Bengals HC Marvin Lewis said Wednesday that he's "very optimistic" about WR A.J. Green's (groin) status for this weekend's game against the Falcons. Green said earlier in the week that he expects to play in that one. We'll continue to monitor his progress over the next few days, but fantasy owners can pencil Green into Week 4 lineups for now.

Bengals WR A.J. Green told reporters after Sunday's loss to the Panthers that he expects to play next week. He was announced with a groin injury, but Green said that he "came down on his hip" and "two bones just hit against (each other)." He added, "I didn't feel anything pop or anything like that, so I should be fine." We'll look for another update on Green tomorrow and monitor his practice participation this coming week.

Bengals WR A.J. Green injured his groin in the 3rd quarter of Sunday's game in Carolina. He was in obvious pain and is officially questionable to return. Stay tuned for updates.

Bengals RB Joe Mixon told reporters Wednesday that the knee injury that required surgery on Saturday is a "slight tear" of his meniscus. "As soon as I feel any type of comfortability, in terms of me going out there and able to run full speed and cut a dime, that's definitely when I'll be out there," Mixon said of his return. "And even if I did have a little pain, I'll definitely still be out there at that point when I'm comfortable." We'll keep a close eye on Mixon's progress. He won't play against the Panthers this Sunday, and we'd bet against him being ready for Week 4. A Week 5 return seems possible.

The Bengals "fear" RB Joe Mixon needs arthroscopic surgery on the knee he injured in Thursday night's win over the Ravens, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero. Mixon is getting a 2nd opinion before a final decision is made. We'll update his status as soon as we know more. Mixon's absence would leave Gio Bernard as Cincinnati's lead back -- and a strong fantasy starter.

Update: ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that Mixon will have a "procedure" Saturday to remove a "particle" from the knee. Mixon's expected to miss 2 weeks. That's still bad news for fantasy owners, obviously, but better than it could have been.

Bengals RB Joe Mixon suffered a right knee injury in the 1st half of Thursday night's game against the Ravens. He headed back to the locker room but returned to the game after missing just 1 series. He exited again late in the 3rd quarter, though. Mixon was shown standing on the sidelines, so this doesn't have the look of a serious injury. But we'll update his status when we learn more.

UPDATE: Mixon returned (again) in the 4th quarter.

Just a day after the Bengals released him, multiple reports say DE Michael Johnson is re-signing with the team. It's not a surprising move, given that Johnson had been running as a starter in preseason. Expect him to reprise his 2017 role, perhaps ceding a few more snaps to the younger guys at the position.

The Bengals have cut veteran DE Michael Johnson. He had been back with the team for 3 years after leaving briefly for Tampa in 2014 free agency. Overall, Johnson has played 8 years in Cincinnati. He just started the team's 3rd preseason game opposite DE Carlos Dunlap, and re-signing could still be an option. We'll see if the Bengals make any more moves on that front before altering our IDP projections for the team's younger DEs. Jordan Willis and rookie Sam Hubbard present intrigue on that front.

Bengals QB Andy Dalton connected on 11 of 18 passes for 180 yards and 2 TDs in Sunday's preseason game against the Bills. That damage came in just 5 series. Dalton found WR John Ross for a 57-yard score on the 1st play of the game and later connected with WR A.J. Green for a 14-yard TD. With Ross and TE Tyler Eifert healthy (at least for now), Dalton has a loaded group of pass-catchers. He remains a prime late-round QB target with an ADP sitting in the 16th round.

Bengals OLB Vontaze Burfict has passed his physical and rejoined the team. Burfict opened training camp on the non-football injury list because of a hamstring issue but returns with plenty of time to get ready. Of course, the veteran will still miss the 1st 4 weeks of the regular season because of a PED suspension. Cincinnati lists Jordan Evans as Burfict's primary backup on the initial ("unofficial") depth chart. IDP owners in deeper leagues can consider pairing the 2. Evans topped 80% playing time in 3 straight games last season after OLB Nick Vigil went down.

Bengals TE Tyler Eifert (back) has passed his physical and been activated from the PUP list. He missed some time this spring and the first week of training camp after reportedly tweaking his back. We'll now see if Eifert can put together a healthy August. He's the biggest injury risk at any position this season, according to Sports Injury Predictor. But that's largely baked into his 13th-round ADP. Eifert remains a good bet for top-10 production whenever he's on the field.

Bengals TE Tyler Eifert apparently doesn't think we need to worry about the troublesome back that has landed him on the camp-opening PUP list. "There is no setback," he told the Cincinnati Enquirer. "I'm feeling good. This is just the route we chose to take." Eifert added that he's "100 percent" certain he'll play in the regular-season opener. This sounds good, but we'll put his chance of starting on time somewhere short of 100%. Still, Eifert's going late enough in fantasy football drafts to be a fine shot worth taking at this point. He'll carry big weekly upside for however many weeks he's available.

Bengals TE Tyler Eifert will begin training camp on the active/PUP list. He's eligible to be removed at any time, but it's not a good start for a guy who's missed 22 games over the past 2 seasons. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Eifert "tweaked" his back in spring workouts. That'd be the same back that's required 2 surgeries, with the most recent coming in October. We'll continue to monitor Eifert's status, but any production he provides to the Bengals and fantasy owners should be considered a bonus at this point.

Bengals RB Joe Mixon has dropped 12 pounds from last season, currently tipping the scales at 218. “I was working in that heat,” Mixon said of his offseason. “I feel like that’s where I play my best. I was trying to get low last year but I wasn’t able to make it. I feel real good. My body feels real good. I feel like I’m in really good shape.” We've seen trimming down work well for plenty of RBs, so consider this good news for Mixon. With every opportunity to capture a feature role in Cincinnati, he's a prime 2018 breakout candidate.

Bengals HC Marvin Lewis admitted on Wednesday that TE Tyler Eifert is uncertain for the start of training camp. It sounds like he's still recovering from October back surgery. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported in February that Eifert had been medically cleared -- and he was on the field for OTAs. But Lewis claims Eifert hasn't endured a setback. “There’s no reason to get him jostled,” Lewis explained. “Just ease his way into things. No setback. We’re trying to make sure we manage everything they want him to do." We'll see what Eifert is able to do when camp opens in late July. He remains 1 of the biggest injury risks in fantasy football.

Bengals TE Tyler Eifert did not participate in Tuesday's minicamp workout. This wouldn't earn a Shark Bite for most guys, but Eifert isn't most guys. He's missed 41 games over 5 NFL seasons and had back surgery in October and surgery to remove a cyst on his knee in November. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported in February that Eifert had been medically cleared. It's unclear what's keeping him sidelined now. "As time goes on when we start to play football then we will have an idea of where he is," HC Marvis Lewis said Tuesday. We'll continue to keep a close eye on Eifert. He's lasting until the 11th round of recent best-ball drafts.

Bengals WR John Ross put in full workouts with his team over the past week, according the Cincinnati Enquirer. It's notable because he didn't participate in 11-on-11 drills last year until Aug. 14. “He’s had so few snaps around 11 guys on the other side of the ball, so this was great work for him and great experience for him that he was not able to get a year ago," HC Marvin Lewis said. We'll see how Ross progresses through his 1st full offseason and camp. But he's basically free at the end of 2018 fantasy football drafts right now -- a fine chance to take in a pass offense with target opportunity behind A.J. Green.

Bengals QB Andy Dalton likes what he's seen from WR John Ross early this offseason. “He looks good. Completely different than he did last year,” Dalton said. “You can tell he worked hard. It looks like he’s getting back to where he was. He looks smooth. Everyone knew he was fast, but he’s not just a straight-line guy. He can stop and go. He’s got some shiftiness to him." Ross went catch-less as a rookie after undergoing shoulder surgery prior to the draft and then injuring his knee in the preseason finale. “Last year he was trying to learn and rehab his shoulder at the same time," Dalton said. "But seeing it on paper and actually going out and doing it are two completely different things. Now that he’s had an offseason to get healthy, you can tell. He’s catching the ball really well. He’s going up and getting it the little we’ve done so far.” The 9th overall pick of last year's draft still boasts plenty of upside. He's a "buy" target in dynasty leagues and worth a late-round fliers in redrafts.

The Bengals selected Florida State WR Auden Tate with the 4th-to-last pick of the 2018 NFL Draft. Tate bombed his Combine workout, plodding to a 4.68-second 40 time and finishing with a 3rd percentile SPARQ score. He’ll struggle to create separation as a pro but does have some intriguing contested-catch ability. Tate goes 6’5, 228 pounds with 92nd percentile arm length, strong hands and nice body control. Per Pro Football Focus, he hauled in 66.7% of his contested targets last year — 6th best in the country. But Tate’s bottom-barrel measurables — plus the fact that he’s a 7th-rounder — make him a long shot for fantasy value.

 
 
 

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