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Late moves: Hill goes to IR; Bullock OK; Tupou, Wilson promoted

Posted Nov 11, 2017

Jeremy Hill (ankle) went to IR Saturday.
Running back Jeremy Hill’s season is over and as he heads into free agency so may be his Bengals career. Hill (ankle) went on season-ending injured reserve Saturday with an injury that made him a late scratch last Sunday in Jacksonville.

It was one of a bevy of moves before the Bengals left Saturday for Sunday’s game (1 p.m.-Cincinnati’s Channel 19) in Tennessee.
Randy Bullock must have had a good morning Saturday because the Bengals released kicker Marshall Koehn after he kicked in his first NFL game last week in Jacksonville when Bullock’s back couldn’t answer the bell Sunday morning. But after Bullock went limited Friday and was listed as questionable, his back apparently responded. Koehn did well enough against the Jags with a two strong kickoffs and making his lone kick on an extra point that he may stick around on the practice squad.
  There are two practice squad spots available now after  they promoted rookie nose tackle Josh Tupou and rookie safety Brandon Wilson from the squad to the active roster.

 Look for Tupou to play him right away Sunday against the Titans with veteran nose tackle Pat Sims (hamstring) declared out. The Bengals are expecting to get the same kind of game they got last week where the Jags pounded the ball at them in the run game.
The massive Tupou, undrafted out of Colorado, had an impressive preseason and made a strong bid for the Opening Day roster. At 6-3, 350 pounds, he showed great anchorability and a presence against the run the Bengals seek and now need without Sims. They’ll be young at nose Sunday since Andrew Billing got the most snaps of his career just last week with 48, which nearly doubled his entire NFL output. They may be young, but their huge with Billings showing up at 6-1, 330.

Wilson’s promotion comes in the wake of safety Derron Smith’s departure from the practice squad. Earlier this week. Wilson battled a knee injury and has been a bit of a mystery since he arrived and he didn’t practice until the regular season started and he was dispatched to the practice squad. 
So people are still waiting to see his signature speed. He didn’t get invited to the combine, but the 4.35 40 he ran at his pro day at Houston would have led the Indy safeties. He figures to help special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons doing something. He scored eight TDs six different ways for the Cougars and took a missed field goal 109 yards for a TD.

Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis indicated Hill’s injury occurred in Saturday’s practice but Hill said this week he’s been fighting it since last season. The only NFL game he missed before last week was last year’s finale with a knee issue.
Whatever happens, it’s been quite a ride since Hill arrived from LSU in the second round of the 2014 draft. He put the offense on his back with a Rookie of the Year-type season of 1,124 yards that put the Bengals into the playoffs without tight end Tyler Eifert, wide receiver Marvin Jones and injuries limiting A.J. Green to no catches in five games. Hill even brought the Ickey Shuffle back into vogue.
But it’s been a struggle since. After averaging 5.1 yards per 222 carries as a rookie, he had one more carry the next year and averaged 3.6. Plus, in the postseason that year he endured the most famous fumble in Bengals history in the final 1:23 of the Wild Card Game that set up the Steelers’ winning points.
Yet he came back last year and touched the ball 243 times with no fumbles, the most of any player in the league without a fumble. Yet the average was again only 3.8 and this past spring they drafted the highly acclaimed Joe Mixon in the second round. Even though Hill has been the starter there’s never been a doubt they think Mixon is the guy.
Mixon has more than twice as many carries as Hill, but neither has been able to get anything going. Mixon is averaging 2.9 yards per 98 carries and Hill 3.1 on 37.
 

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