C.J. Uzomah injury update: Bengals tight end carted off during AFC Championship vs. Chiefs

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The Bengals could be missing one of the most integral pieces of their offense for the rest of the AFC championship.

During the first quarter, tight end C.J. Uzomah suffered a knee injury attempting to make a catch with 2:59 left in the frame.

He was later carted off the field and was seen in tears as he was taken away.

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According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, he is out for the game with an MCL sprain, and he will need an MRI after the game to evaluate for further damage.

The initial belief is Bengals TE C.J. Uzomah has an MCL sprain, source said. Obviously out today and he’ll have an MRI after the game to see if there is additional or more extensive damage.

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 30, 2022

Uzomah is the longest tenured Bengal on offense, having been with the team since he was drafted in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft. Only punter Kevin Huber and long-snapper Clark Harris have been on the team longer than Uzomah as both have been with the team since 2009.

The 29-year-old tight end was among the most targeted Bengals’ receivers during the 2021 season, finishing fourth on the year with 49 receptions and 493 receiving yards. He was tied for third on the team with five touchdown receptions.

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With Uzomah out, Drew Sample will be expected to step up and fill in the role as the primary receiver out of the tight end slot. He caught 11 passes for 81 yards during the 2021 season.

Sample was a more integral part of the team’s offense in 2020, catching 40 passes for 349 yards with his only career touchdown.

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The loss is a major one for a Bengals team that is expecting to need to keep up with a high-powered Chiefs offense. Kansas City gave up 897 yards during the regular season to tight ends, the 15th-most in the league.

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