It looks like left tackle Jonah Williams is going to be able to start off-season workouts on time when the Bengals reconvene in April. Williams had been carted off the field with a right knee injury in the second half of last Sunday's game in Miami, but head coach Zac Taylor says he could have returned if the season had been longer.
With four games left they've opted to put him on injured reserve and it looks like rookie left tackle Hakeem Adeniji is going to get the rest of his starts.
Cornerback Darius Phillips swapped places with Williams on IR and the active roster. They expect Phillips to play against Dallas on Sunday (1 p.m.-Cincinnati's Fox 19) at Paul Brown Stadium.
But they kept running back Joe Mixon (foot) on IR for at least this week. He was eligible to return and Taylor said it was still possible he could play this season. But he's now been out two months since getting injured in the first quarter of the sixth game.
Quarterback Joe Burrow (knee) is in his second week of rehab for his reconstructed knee in California and defensive end Sam Hubbard said he checks in with him every other day or so.
"He just loves to stay engaged, see what's going on in the locker room, how guys are feeling, what's going on," Hubbard said. "He said the first few days were pretty painful, but it's getting better and he's just getting some movement, getting the swelling out, on that process, but he's doing well out in California."
BOYD PLANS APPEAL IF: The Bengals are 0-for-1 in appeals from last Sunday's game in Miami. It is believed safety Shawn Williams felt like he inadvertently stepped on a Dolphins offensive lineman in a pileup, but according to reports he lost his appeal and has been suspended for Sunday's game for stomping.
If wide receiver Tyler Boyd gets fined for what happened to him Sunday, he plans to appeal because he feels like he was also wronged when he got ejected with 1:03 left before halftime. It looked to be a run-of-the-mill incomplete pass on the sidelines. Cornerback Xavien Howard gave Boyd a shot well out of bounds, but Boyd let him know it and he went to the sideline and…
"It kind of surprised me after I sat down. They said I was ejected and I was shocked like, 'Wow because of that?' Come on now its football. It's a physical game," Boyd said before Wednesday's practice. "In my opinion, I felt like they were kind of working with the refs. I'm just saying that because clearly he pushed me. I made a mistake. At the end of the day it's just football. We're going to trash talk each other and he just mushed me and I kind of mushed the other guy.
"There weren't really any punches thrown or anything crazy for them to even see me doing anything wrong. They could have looked at it and penalized both of us and offset it whatever the case may be. I don't feel like it was strong enough to eject us."
Howard gave him a shot and along with cornerback Byron Jones forced into a cameraman and the photog supplied the Dolphins' best hit of the day.
"That's why I kind of felt like it was a late hit," Boyd said. "They pushed me and was running into people and stuff like that. You never know what could have happened. It was a dirty play."
MORE YAC: Boyd is having such a good season that he got thrown out of a game at halftime and is still on pace for 1,062 yards.
Boyd now has more yards after catch (306 according to pro football focus) than DK Metcalf and Julio Jones for 15th most in the NFL and he has Sunday's 72-yard touchdown to thank, since 70 of it came after he caught a screen from quarterback Brandon Allen for the longest play of his career.
He's also got more YAC than his teammate, Tee Higgins (254), and CeeDee Lamb, Higgins' fellow rookie coming to town Sunday with the Cowboys. Not to mention, Lamb running mate Amari Cooper (292).
"I take a lot of pride in that, because us as receivers we feel like we're among the top receivers in the country," Boyd said. "The yards after the catch is important to us winning games and staying on the field and extending drives so that means a lot. During the game during the time we're playing we're not really worried about our stats until later in the week or the next day. That kind of gives us more hunger to go out there and continue to ball."
GAME PLAN TALK: Before Wednesday's practice quarterback Brandon Allen talked about getting the ball into the hands of wide receiver A.J. Green, coming off the first back-to-back catch-less games of his career.
Which means he has yet to have a catch from Allen.
"I think we've got a good plan this week. A.J. is still a great player and we need to get him the ball," Allen said. "That's a lot on me. There were a couple times last game when I should have gone to him and I didn't. I think getting him going early this week especially early in the game I think will feed both our confidences and we'll go from there."
But Allen says he won't force it to him. Or anybody else.
"I think it works that way with a lot of guys, not just A.J.," Allen said. "A lot of guys when they can get touches early get a feel for how they are playing and get moving down the field it feeds a lot of confidence in a lot of guys when that happens for them. Obviously I'd love to spread the ball around and give everyone early touches and get everyone going early and hopefully we can get that going this week."
Allen is trying to figure out the second half blues. In Miami, he did have that two-yard flip that got him 72 yards in the first half. But he was 9 of 13 for 137 yards in the half. Then he went two of six for 16 yards in the second half before left in the middle of the fourth quarter after taking a shot to the chest. It didn't help they lost Boyd, when attention was shifted to Green and Higgins.
After they burned a signature Miami all-out blitz for Boyd's big play, they forced the Dolphins to back out but didn't take advantage.
"First half they brought a lot of zero (blitz) and I thought we had a pretty good plan for it. Obviously, the one to TB was against zero, so we had a good plan to attack their zero," Allen said. "Second half they played a lot more press-man coverage and even looked to double some guys with TB out, they looked to double A.J. They had a good plan in the second half and we got behind the chains on first and second down. We had a lot of third-and-10, third-and-11s to try and convert which is hard versus any defense."
The Bengals signed Allen because of the handle he has on Taylor's offense and he broke it down pretty well on what went wrong.
"TB has been playing well all year and so has Tee, lot of attention does get focused on AJ in certain situations. I think it just kind of played out that way in the game," Allen said. "There were a lot of the first progressions of the play went to TB or Tee, with zero coverage, lot of those things the ball has to come out because they are bringing more than you can block so a lot of times it just so happened we only got to our first read to get the ball out versus some of that pressure."