Chad Johnson OUT Against Pittsburgh


The Bengals have deactivated WR Chad Johnson for tonight’s game due to an unspecified violation of a team rule.

"The Bengals made the announcement in a terse statement delivered here from the team’s downtown hotel and said there would be no other announcement until after the game.With wide receiver Antonio Chatman on injured reserve, the Bengals are looking at starting Chris Henry or Glenn Holt in place of Ocho Cinco, and it looks like rookie Andre Caldwell could get some time after practing Tuesday for the first time since he got injured against the Steelers Oct. 19."

Update: Muckraker Mike passes along word from’s Adam Schefter that Ocho Bozo got into a fight last night “with someone in the Cincinnati organization” at a team function. Schefter’s report is here. More to come, I’m sure.

Update 2: Ocho’s Exit-o means the Bengals will now be down five, count ’em, five starters this evening: Chad, Levi Jones, Andrew Whitworth, Antwan Odom and Chinedum Ndukwe. Complete injury report here.

Update 3: Bengals radio announcer Brad Johanson says on his blog (hosted on the official Cincinnati Bengals site, so take it for what it’s worth) that Chad overslept and missed a team meeting, and that’s the reason for the suspension, not a fight.

Update 4: PFW’s Eric Edholm argues that the Bengals ought to just shut Chad down to the rest of the season.

"After all, he has been a missing man all season, dropping passes and running lazy routes, all after an offseason campaign in which he not only tried to get himself dealt but also brought a ton of bad ink to the team.It has reached critical-mass point for the Bengals. They have a fine receiver in T.J. Houshmandzadeh, who has played hard and well and will earn himself a franchise-tag deal in the offseason, one that likely will lead to a long-term deal. But Johnson has had his worst season since his rookie year and has made the team look bad and stupid.We don’t yet know what he did to earn his place on the bench tonight, but could they deactivate him, Keyshawn-style, for the remainder of the season? Could they just say, “enough’s enough?” It would be tempting."

If rookie WR Jerome Simpson and QB Carson Palmer were healthy, and the o-line capable of playing above the level of “abysmal,” such a move might make sense. As it is, though, there really wouldn’t be much point to it, beyond pettiness and spite. QB Ryan Fitzpatrick barely has time to throw the ball most plays, making it hard for the Bengals to develop their young wideouts. And with Antonio Chatman down for the count and Chris Henry dropping even more passes than Chad, there’s plenty of opportunity for them to get the young guys involved, even if Chad’s still active.

Finish out the season, franchise Housmandzadeh, trade Chad and draft linemen, linemen and more linemen in April.

Kirk leans toward Johansen’s version of events, but asks:

"Of course, one has to wonder why Chad overslept an 8:30 p.m. meeting and why his roommates or best buddy T.J. didn’t account for him beforehand; not that Chad needs a babysitter, but typically friends look out for each other. Is this a cover?"

Dan at figures that, somehow, life will go on.

WDR works the news into today’s site-based running joke.