Bengals linebacker Thomas Howard out for season with torn ACL
Cincinnati, OH, United States (4E Sports) – Cincinnati Bengals starting linebacker Thomas Howard will be sidelined for the rest of the season after tearing his ACL in practice Thursday, head coach Marvin Lewis announced.
“Just a freak thing that happens. I’ve seen too many of them in 31 years of coaching before I even knew what an ACL was,” Lewis told the team’s official website, saying Thomas suffered the injury during a practice drill.
“It was in our drills. He felt like he was fine. Unfortunately, we take them in that room and put that machine on them and they are not,” he added.
Thomas was the team’s leading tackler in 2011 and had four tackles and a sack in Monday’s opener against the Baltimore Ravens
The 29-year-old Howard, who signed a two-year deal in 2011, was coming off a career year in which he played more than 1,000 snaps and emerged as a leader for the team in the locker room and community.
“He’s a wonderful, wonderful human being and he understands things happen for a reason,” Lewis said. “He’ll come out of it well.”
The Bengals put Howard on injured reserve and re-signed 2010 fourth round pick Roddrick Muckelroy to take his spot on the roster.
Muckelroy played three preseason games with the team before being let go in the final roster cut-down. He will be eligible to play in the home opener Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.
Lewis said the Bengals were lucky to grab Muckelroy because he and his wife planned to leave Cincinnati Friday to go back home to Houston after lining up workouts with other teams.
Lewis has not named a starter in place of Thomas but he has Vontaze Burfict, Dan Skuta and Vincent Rey to fill in the void.