Notes: Bengals re-sign TE Brock, Smith to IR; Inactive list may be full of inactives; Stat check


Tight end Alex Smith, who scored a TD against the Browns last season, went on season-ending IR Tuesday.

The Bengals responded to the devastation at tight end Tuesday by re-signing Kevin Brock after they waived him late last month.

With tight end Alex Smith (bicep) going on season-ending injured reserve Tuesday and tight end Tyler Eifert going on injured reserve-recall last week, the Bengals desperately needed to fill a spot held down by just Jermaine Gresham and Ryan Hewitt in the last three quarters of Sunday's 24-10 victory over the Falcons.

Also in response to injuries, the Bengals added former Boston College offensive lineman Emmett Cleary to the practice squad and cut tight end Ryan Otten. Right guard Kevin Zeitler (calf) was on crutches Monday and it doesn't look like he'll be ready for Sunday's 1 p.m. game against the Titans at Paul Brown Stadium,

The 6-5, 264-pound Brock, who is on his sixth team since 2009, is here to take Smith's position as a blocker. He has five catches in six NFL games and knows the Bengals system. He signed here the week of last year's Wild Card Game after playing four games with the Chiefs in 2013.

Smith, a 10-year veteran with 121 games under his belt, had valuable experience in the run game. According to, of the 257 snaps he played last season (about 23 percent of the plays), he blocked the run on 176 of them. He caught three ballls for 12 yards and had a two-yard TD catch against Cleveland.

Brock had three catches for the Chiefs for 36 yards and had a 25-yarder. He took 76 snaps last season and PFF had him for 44 run blocks.

The 6-7, 324-pound Cleary came into the NFL as a free agent last year and spent time on the Tampa Bay practice squad. Oakland picked him up before this past traimnig camp and waived him in the first cuts. He's a versatille sort, a tackle who played some guard this preseason and is viewed as a potential Dennis Roland type down the road. 

INACTIVE LIST? The Bengals may truly have an inactive list with seven players who can't go in Sunday's game against Tennessee after last Sunday's carnage against Atlanta.

Usually the list is made up of injured players and players who don't play because of the head coach's decision. But Sunday's list could be all injured players, starting with two Pro Bowlers that may be able to use next week's bye to get ready for the Oct. 5 game in New England. Wide receiver A.J. Green (right toe) left after five snaps and for the second straight week WILL backer Vontaze Burfict left after taking a shot to the head.

With tight end Alex Smith (bicep) the only guy placed on season-ending injured reserve Tuesday, that would indicate right guard Kevin Zeitler (calf) and defensive tackle Brandon Thompson (knee) are back at some point in a month or sooner. They don't appear ready to go yet. Linebacker Sean Porter missed the first two games with a hamstring injury. So did wide receiver Marvin Jones (foot) and running back Rex Burkhead (knee), both expected back for New England.

This is why there are inactive lists. If all 53 players were active, one team may be able to dress all 53 while the other may be able to only dress 49 because of injuries, or 46 potentially for the Bengals, and that is seen as disruptive to competitive balance.

 STAT CHECK:  The Bengals (plus-5) trail only Carolina (plus-6) in turnover differential…They are one of only four teams that don't have a turnover (Carolina, Cleveland, and Denver) and only the Bengals and Texans have yet to allow a sack…

The defense leads the AFC in allowing 4.2 yards on first down and are 11th in the league in third-down efficiency…

  Andy Dalton leads a trio of former and current Bengals quarterbacks vying for the NFL lead in yards per attempt. Dalton leads the way with 9.1 and Houston's Ryan Fitzpatrick is second at 8.4 and Arizona's Carson Palmer is fifth at 8.22….

Dalton is seventh in passer rating (105.4) and is tied for 21st in attempts. But he's second in fourth-quarter passing and seventh in third-down passing…

Palmer is also finding out less is more. He's 31st in attempts with a 108. 4 rating, sixth best in the NFL…

Giovani Bernard is tied with Philadelphia's Darren Sproles and Pittsburgh's Le'Veon Bell for second for most catches by a running back with 11, two behind Chicago's Matt Forte…

The NFL's two top rushing rookies are in the AFC North. The Browns' Terrance West leads with 168 yards to the 93 of the Bengals' Jeremy Hill...

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