Bengals Load Active List With Defense; Phillips Starts At CB

Darius Phillips got his second NFL start Sunday.
Darius Phillips got his second NFL start Sunday.

Youth and defense dominated the Bengals active list in Sunday's season finale during what could be quarterback Andy Dalton's last game as a Bengal at rainy Paul Brown Stadium against the Browns. They deactivated two rookie wide receivers and activated another one while rookie left tackle Fred Johnson was expected to make his first NFL start and sophomore Darius Phillips his second at cornerback.

Rookie wide receiver Stanley Morgan, Jr., (concussion) didn't practice all week and was out and head coach Zac Taylor opted to go with rookie wide receiver Trenton Irwin instead of Opening Day rookie starter Damion Willis. Irwin, an undrafted free agent out of Stanford, had been on the practice squad since Oct. 3 before he was promoted Friday. Also promoted from the squad Friday was tight end Jordan Franks. But along with tight end Mason Schreck, he was inactive as the Bengals loaded up the defensive side of the ball on what promised to be the slippery PBS turf against NFL leading rusher Nick Chubb and Pro Bowl wide receivers Odell Beckham, Jr., and Jarvis Landry.

No defensive player was inactive for Taylor. Rounding out that list was offensive linemen John Jerry and Isaiah Prince and third quarterback Jake Dolegala.