Bengals at Steelers injury report led by Joe Mixon out for Cincinnati

Dec 30, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 30, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports /

The absence of Joe Mixon for the third straight game for Cincinnati leads the injury report for the Bengals at Steelers Sunday.

Joe Mixon missing his third straight game for the Bengals at Pittsburgh Sunday leads the injury report for both teams. The Bengals running game has remained consistent without Mixon. Cincinnati is averaging 99.5 rushing yards per game over the last two games with Mixon out.

The Bengals are averaging slightly more for the season with 101.25 rushing yards per game. In the first six games, Cincinnati averaged 101.83 rushing yards per game. Giovanni Bernard should continue to be the lead RB with Mixon out. Samaje Perine should contribute behind Bernard.

Pittsburgh has several starters on the injured list. The most significant is linebacker Devin Bush who was lost for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament last month. Three Steelers on the active roster are on the injured list. Starters, wide receiver JuJu Smith-Shuster and nickel cornerback Mike Hilton are uncertain.

Backup nose tackle Isaiah Buggs is listed as probable and expected to play. Pittsburgh starting NT Tyson Alualu missed the Steelers game against Dallas last week. Alualu is dealing with a knee injury suffered two weeks ago against Baltimore. Hilton is dealing with a shoulder injury but missed practice on Thursday.

Cincinnati made a plethora of moves ahead of Sunday’s game. Defensive end Sam Hubbard was activated from the reserve/injured list. Hubbard had missed the last three Bengals games. Hubbard has 23 tackles, three quarterback hits, three tackles for loss and one sack in 2020.

A starter in all five games this season, Hubbard will play on Sunday according to the Bengals official website but is not listed on their depth chart. Hubbard will be needed against Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers passing game. The Bengals made other moves this week.

Cornerback Darius Phillips and WR John Ross were put on the reserve/injured list. Phillips suffered a groin injury in the Bengals last game against Tennessee two weeks ago. In his third season, Phillips has played in all eight games with five starts. Phillips has 17 tackles an interception and five pass breakups.

Is the John Ross era over?

Ross suffered a foot injury during practice on Thursday. Ross has played in just three games this season with two receptions for 17 yards. The speedy receiver has been a near bust. In his fourth season, Ross has 51 receptions for 733 yards and 10 TDs. Rookie Tee Higgins has clearly supplanted Ross.

The Bengals elevated WR Stanley Morgan, CB Jalen Davis, guard Quinton Spain and DT Kahlil McKenzie from the practice squad to the active roster to be available against Pittsburgh. Morgan and Davis are standard additions to the Bengals roster. Spain and McKenzie are COVID-19 replacements.

Next. Bengals need to prove they can win close games. dark

Morgan and Davis are classified as standard elevations, Spain and McKenzie are COVID-19 replacements. All four players elevated to the active roster designated for Sunday will return to the practice squad on Monday.