CINCINNATI (AP) — The Bengals suffered a major blow to their defense on Friday when Thomas Howard was placed on injured reserve after tearing his ACL during practice on Thursday.
"It was an unfortunate thing, anytime a player like Thomas, a young talent, gets hurt," coach Marvin Lewis said. "You have to move on. It's a freak thing that happens."
Howard, a seven-year veteran from UTEP, was Cincinnati's tackling leader last season with 120 stops, and started in the Bengals' Week 1 loss to the Ravens on Monday night. He had four tackles, including a sack, and a pass defensed in the 44-13 defeat.
To take his place on the roster, Cincinnati signed linebacker Roddrick Muckelroy. A third-year player from Texas, Muckelroy started three preseason games for the Bengals this summer, posting 17 tackles, including a sack. He was a fourth-round draft choice in 2010 by Cincinnati.
The Bengals (0-1) take on the Browns (0-1) on Sunday.
"We were lucky to get Muckelroy back here this morning," Lewis said, "and get going from there."
Muckelroy, who was one of the final cuts by the Bengals two weeks ago, was still in the area. He was scheduled to move back to Houston today before he received a call from the team last night.