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Bengals place Thomas Howard on IR with torn ACL

Jacoby Jones, Dennis Pitta, Thomas Howard AP

The Bengals are down a starting linebacker.

Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the Bengals have placed linebacker Thomas Howard on injured reserve after he tore his ACL in practice on Thursday. Howard had three tackles and a sack in Monday night’s 44-13 loss to the Ravens and was starting his second year as a starter in Cincinnati.

Howard was the team’s best cover linebacker, leaving a big hole in their defense as the team tries to make it back to the playoffs for the second year in a row. Howard, a 2006 second-round pick in Oakland, is also a sure tackler and the team doesn’t have much experience behind him.

The two likeliest choices to take over on the weak side of the defense are Dan Skuta and Vincent Rey, both of whom make most of their impact on special teams. Skuta has started four games since making the Bengals as an undrafted free agent in 2009 and, according to Geoff Hobson of the team’s website, Rey has just two snaps from scrimmage in his three years with the team. Hobson also reports that the team has re-signed linebacker Roddrick Muckelroy, cut before the start of the season, to take Howard’s place on the roster.

It’s the latest in a long series of injuries on the Bengals defense since the start of training camp, although it looks like they’ll be getting defensive end Carlos Dunlap back after about a month on the sideline with a sprained knee.

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7 Responses to “Bengals place Thomas Howard on IR with torn ACL”
  1. mazblast says: Sep 14, 2012 1:01 PM

    Tough break for a not deep defense. Howard is a decent if not great player.

  2. villa41 says: Sep 14, 2012 1:07 PM

    Too bad about the injury. Good cover LB but not so good against the run. Best suited to a back-up and situational role.

  3. samoanjungle says: Sep 14, 2012 1:21 PM

    @villa41 You have no idea what you are talking about. Howard is a great all-around LB.
    This is something the Bengals could not afford. We are not deep at OLB.

  4. joetoronto says: Sep 14, 2012 1:22 PM

    villa41 says: Sep 14, 2012 1:07 PM

    Too bad about the injury. Good cover LB but not so good against the run. Best suited to a back-up and situational role.
    *************************************************
    Exactly, him and Morrison were pushovers against the run.

    Good in pass coverage though.

  5. thestrategyexpert says: Sep 14, 2012 2:51 PM

    Did they designate him to return from IR and do they still have that option to use? You have to report on that notion every time somebody goes on IR now so that we know, thanks to the NFL for going out of their way to make things more complicated, yet to me less desirable as well. Arrrgggh!

  6. jm91rs says: Sep 14, 2012 3:09 PM

    joetoronto saying something moderately polite about a cincinnati bengals? Has hell frozen over?

    Anyway, I haven’t been in town enough to follow them this year, but can Burfict step into that role?

  7. beelicker says: Sep 14, 2012 7:30 PM

    Starting C Kyle Cook was already the return-IR designate.

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