The Cincinnati Bengals are searching under ever rock possible to find an adequate linebacker to come in and give them some good snaps, and with the 2013 regular-season opener vs the Chicago Bears just five days away, it’s unlikely they’ll get one in time to take to Chicago with them.
That means they’ll face Matt Forte and the Bears with just five LBs, three of which have actual starting experience. Vincent Rey, who missed much of the preseason with a leg injury, has been relegated to special teams for his entire career.
Jayson DiMache, an undrafted free agent out of Southern Illinois, will be going from facing teams in the MAC to facing the Monsters of the Midway on Sunday.
Expect to see a heavy dose of Forte, whether it be in pass routes out of the backfield, or outside runs that force the Bengals LBs to show they can move sideline-to-sideline to defend the Pro-Bowl back.
And it doesn’t look like help is on the way. Former starting weakside LB Thomas Howard was in for a workout today in order for the coaches and medical staff to determine how far along Howard is with his ACL rehabilitation, which isn’t where they want it to be, and likely won’t be singing him, according to Bengals.com’s Geoff Hobson.
The Cincinnati Enquirer’s Joe Reedy reports the Bengals invited Tyrone McKenzie to Cincinnati on Tuesday.
McKenzie, a former third-round pick during the 2009 NFL draft by the New England Patriots, tore his ACL during rookie minicamp that year and subsequently placed on Injured Reserve. He was later cut and has bounced around the league since, with his latest stint being with the Minnesota Vikings, but it was primarily as a special-teamer.