Wide receiver Andre Caldwell, who has missed the last two games with a nagging groin/abdominal issue, went on the Bengals season-ending reserve list Tuesday and University of Cincinnati wide receiver Armon Binns has been signed from the practice squad to take his place on the roster.
It's a tough break for the Bengals not to have Caldwell for Sunday's 4:15 p.m. regular-season finale against the Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium. In his last two games against Baltimore he's replaced the No. 1 receiver and run by the Ravens cornerbacks to the tune of 10 catches for 157 yards and a touchdown.
With A.J. Green shelved in Baltimore last month, Caldwell caught a 49-yard touchdown pass. In last season's finale in Baltimore he had a career-high seven catches and 94 yards that included a 39-yard bomb late that nearly set up a Bengals win.
And back in '09 he beat the Ravens, 17-14, on a 20-yard touchdown pass with 22 seconds left. It remains to be seen if Caldwell has taken his last snap as a Bengal as he heads into free agency. He lost his job as the slot receiver when Jordan Shipley was drafted in the third round in 2010 and the job re-opened this season when Shipley suffered a season-ending torn anterior cruciate ligament during the second game of the season. But the Bengals are searching for a consistent No. 2 receiver opposite Green and the guy who currently holds the position, Jerome Simpson, is a free agent with an uncertain future.
Last week Caldwell said he's been fighting his injury since it shelved him for the first preseason game.
"It's been hindering me lately; it just got overwhelming," Caldwell said. "I felt like I was hurting the team more than helping them by being in there, so I decided to shut it down."
For the last two weeks rookies Andrew Hawkins and Ryan Whalen have manned the slot and last week they combined for four catches for 23 yards.
The 6-3, 210-pound Binns has impressed in practices, but it's doubtful he'll be active. He's replaced on the practice squad by fellow UC receiver Vidal Hazelton, signed by the Chargers back in July and released Aug. 31.
TIX STAY HOT:Saying that tickets are selling better than they ever expected, the Bengals had another big day Tuesday at the window as they continue to push for a sellout at Sunday's play-in playoff game against the Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium by Thursday's 4:15 p.m. blackout deadline.
Jeff Berding, the club's director of sales and public affairs, said Tuesday at dinnertime that the response to the Bengals buy-one-get-one-free offer to season ticket holders hasn't let up since Monday morning. With as many as 40 people on hold on the phone lines, Berding said the team brought in former staffers and reassigned current staffers to get through the crunch.
"We're doing whatever we can to get tickets in people's hands as quickly as we can," Berding said. "It's been extraordinarily busy from 8 a.m. Monday through 10 last night and through 5:30 p.m. tonight."
Berding said the idea for the offer came from Bengals president Mike Brown and executive vice president Katie Blackburn.
"During the holidays they thought this would be a great way to allow our season ticket holders to bring family and friends and their employees who they know are fans and give them a chance to come to a game," Berding said.