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Pregame Notebook: Bengals Get Kareem Back on Edge

Khalid Kareem exults after his preseason sack.
Khalid Kareem exults after his preseason sack.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ. _ The Bengals got back one of their offseason regulars for the first time in the regular season Sunday when defensive end Khalid Kareem was active after a two-month stint on injured reserve with a shoulder issue.

That meant that Wyatt Ray, the fourth man in the edge rotation, went to the inactive list for the first time this season. Also inactive for the first time this year was wide receiver Auden Tate (questionable) with a thigh injury that limited him in last week's last two practices.

Backup running back Chris Evans (hamstring) also went inactive for the first time this season, but all indications are he and Tate are going to be back for next week's Paul Brown Stadium game against Cleveland.

Rounding out the six inactives are the three players who have yet to play this season: rookie defensive tackle Tyler Shelvin, rookie pass rusher Darius Hodge and rookie cornerback Nick McCloud.

Kareem, a fifth-round pick out of Notre Dame in 2020, has battled shoulder problems since they drafted him but whenever he's played he's always been active. He didn't get on the field this year until the preseason finale and on his first series he had a sack and tipped a pass. But he left later with the shoulder problem that sidelined him until Sunday.

Ray, claimed on waivers in final cuts after the injuries to Kareem and Joseph Ossai, has been a solid part of what has arguably been the strength of the defense. The rotation at the edge has yielded 11.5 sacks and while Ray doesn't have any, he's played 23 percent of the snaps and has a quarterback hit and eight tackles.

SLANTS AND SCREENS: The Bengals are looking to break the Halloween Hex. The last time they played on the day was a Thursday night overtime loss in Miami when they were rolling with four straight wins.

The Bengals return to the scene of slot receiver Tyler Boyd's NFL debut, the 23-22 win over the Jets in the 2016 opener when his catch in the last seconds of the first half set up what proved to be a field goal in a game every point counted. It was one of his two catches for 24 yards.

Check out the Bengals arriving to the stadium for their Week 8 showdown against the New York Jets. Presented by On Location.