Whitworth, Kooistra Added To IR

Two more players were added to the injured reserve list Friday as the M*A*S*H unit that is the Bengals continued to get ready for the Baltimore Ravens.

Left guard Andrew Whitworth and top offensive line reserve Scott Kooistra became the 14th and 15th players to land on IR this season when the Bengals transacted both on Friday. Whitworth suffered a high ankle sprain against Philadelphia on Nov. 16, while Kooistra injured a knee in the same game.

The Bengals signed former Ohio State offensive tackle Kirk Barton off of the Miami Dolphins practice squad and cornerback Geoffrey Pope off of their own practice squad to fill out the 53-man roster. Barton was a seventh-round draft pick of Chicago this year and has floated between the rosters and practice squads of the Bears, San Francisco and Miami this season before signing with the Bengals.

Pope is making his third appearance on the active roster for the Bengals this season. He has played in three games.

Left tackle Levi Jones is still iffy to play Sunday against Baltimore due to a bad back that has kept him out of practice this week after forcing him to miss the Pittsburgh game on Nov. 20. Rookie Anthony Collins is expected to start against the Ravens, with first-year player Nate Livings starting at left guard.

Both players accounted themselves well against the pressure defense of the Steelers and will have had 10 days of preparation in hand when the Ravens bring their aggressive No. 2-ranked defense into Paul Brown Stadium. The Ravens allowed the Cincinnati offense just three points in a 17-10 win at M&T Bank Stadium in the season opener on Sept. 7.

The Bengals lone touchdown of that game was scored by cornerback Johnathan Joseph when he returned a fumble recovery 65 yards in the fourth quarter.

"I think they did a great job (against Pittsburgh)," said quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick about Collins and Livings. "I think last week in terms of keeping the quarterback clean, they did a great job. I've got a lot of confidence in those guys. The home game I think will certainly make it easier, because it's a lot harder for those guys especially playing on the road."

The Bengals have placed seven players on injured reserve since Nov. 17, players that have accounted for 33 starts this season: wide receiver/punt returner Antonio Chatman, linebacker Abdul Hodge, defensive ends Robert Geathers and Frostee Rucker, Joseph and now Whitworth and Kooistra.


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