The Cincinnati Bengals will have three healthy running backs against the Vikings.
It appears running back Joe Mixon will be out for Cincinnati’s Week 15 bout against Minnesota. Mixon, who missed last week’s loss to Chicago, is still sidelined from the concussion he suffered in a bloodbath loss to Pittsburgh on December 4.
The Bengals played with two healthy running backs against the Bears last week. Giovani Bernard and Brian Hill combined for over five yards per carry (70 yards on 13 attempts). Cincinnati abandoned the run game thanks to the lopsided score, though.
On Saturday, the Bengals promoted running back Jarveon Williams from the practice squad. Williams is an undrafted RB out of UTSA, where he ran for 2,390 yards and eight touchdowns last season.
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Over his final two years with the Roadrunners, Williams ran for 1,939 yards and 16 touchdowns. He capped off his collegiate career with a 125-yard performance in the New Mexico Bowl.
Williams logged touches in three of four preseason games this year. In the preseason finale against Indianapolis, Williams ran for 117 yards on 27 carries and caught five passes for 42 yards. He inked a deal to be on the Bengals’ practice squad prior to the regular-season opener.
While Williams may not contribute in the backfield during Mixon’s absence, he could see action on special teams. Darrin Simmons’ unit has struggled with consistency this year, something the 15th-year special teams coach admitted earlier this week.
Corresponding with Williams’ promotion, the Bengals also placed center T.J. Johnson on season-ending injured reserve. A seventh-round pick in 2013, Johnson has 45 career games under his belt. Johnson started four games this year at right guard when Trey Hopkins was down with a knee injury. The South Carolina product suffered a pectoral injury during the week.
The Bengals take on the first-place Vikings tomorrow at U.S. Bank Stadium. Cincinnati currently owns the ninth overall pick in next year’s draft.