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Ogbuehi's tough 2016 ends on IR; In praise of Whit, Peko; Lewis wants more Green


Cedric Ogbuehi, with offensive line coach Paul Alexander, went on IR Friday.

Bengals left tackle Cedric Ogbuehi's injury problems continue and they ended his tough second season Friday when they put him on injured reserve with what is believed to be a partial tear of his rotator cuff.

The Bengals promoted rookie running back Tra Carson from the practice squad for Sunday's game (1 p.m.-Cincinnati's Channel 12) against the Ravens to fill Ogbuehi's spot.

It's believed Ogbuehi won't miss any of the off-season activities once they begin in late April. But it again raises the question of his durability. His experiment at right tackle that ended in a benching after 11 games wasn't helped by injuries.

A sports hernia wiped out Ogbuehi's spring camps and a toe injury in the pre-season opener kept him out the month before the regular-season opener. Now the week after his first NFL start at left tackle he's unable to get a second start as the Bengals try to plan for the future.

The future has been looking like the past eight years. Andrew Whitworth gets the start at left tackle Sunday like he has for all but eight games since 2009. Whitworth, 35, is scheduled to be a free agent, but he's the only guy they've got that has started more than one game at left tackle.

Whitworth moved to left guard last week in Houston for Ogbuehi's left tackle debut, but after Ogbuehi allowed two sacks it sounded like Whitworth was moving back to left tackle for the Ravens to get the start.

 After Friday's walk through head coach Marvin Lewis got to talking about Whitworth and nose tackle Domata Peko. They both have been here for 11 of Lewis' 14 seasons, they've both been to the postseason six times, both have made enormous contributions on and off the field, and both are playing the last game of their deals.

And while everyone else wonders what would happen if they're not back, Lewis knows.

"Those are roles other people would have to grow into. Everything. Every avenue. Those guys have meant so much," Lewis said. "(What) their families have meant to the young guys, new guys, new families, new wives, new girlfriends. They've been instrumental in helping people bridge those gaps."

It all comes back to 2011 during The Lockout, when coaches couldn't talk to players and they steered the locker room out of the Carson Palmer quagmire that threatened to sink the franchise and toward the Andy Dalton era.

"They were the rocks that got us through the lockout together," Lewis sad. "They re-focused the team and pointed it in the right direction."

Lewis says he's the wrong guy to ask if they're coming back.

"I think they both have the opportunities to come back. We'll see what happens. It's out of my hands,' he said.

It sounds like Lewis is looking for more Whits and Pekos. He's staring directly at A.J. Green, the six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver.

Green was ensconced in controversy last week when the Bengals decided to take him out of the Texans game at the last minute to protect his hamstring tear. It has been a curiously reported story with competing interests leaking their sides to it for various reasons.

Finally on Friday Green objected to the latest report that he's unhappy.

He wasn't happy that he was away from his family on Christmas Eve when the decision was made not to play him, but the Bengals let him go home. And they've also granted his request not to put him on injured reserve. So Green, who loathes publicity, went through the rarity of going through Bengals public relations director Jack Brennan to call the unhappy reports false.

Not only that, Lewis wants everyone else to act like him.

"That's easy to dispel. It's A.J. Green. It's rare that there are people like him,' Lewis said. "He's smiling, he's happy. He's a rare person. Very rare, rare person. As I told him, we need to call on his abilities in other areas as we move forward. For him to bring everyone to his level. How he does things."

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