Bengals deactivate Ocho Cinco for game against Steelers
The Bengals would not elaborate on why Ocho Cinco was deactivated, and said they would give more details after the game, but coach Marvin Lewis declined to discuss it.
"We deactivated him like we told you, and Chad will be back and should be fine and will hopefully get his treatment and be ready to go [Nov. 30 against Baltimore]," Lewis said.
However, ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen reports that according to a team source, Ocho Cinco violated team rules regarding team meetings, and there was a verbal confrontation with a coach.
Ocho Cinco's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, addressed the issue during an interview on ESPN's "SportsCenter" Thursday afternoon. Rosenhaus hinted that the infraction was not major, and believes the suspension will not go beyond one game.
"Chad is very disappointed that he's not playing, but he respects coach [Marvin] Lewis and the team's decision," Rosenhaus said. "He's not going to make this a controversy or a circus. We're going to keep it in-house between ourselves and the team. He's got five more games to go. This is unfortunate that he's not playing. Chad lives to play."
Reserve receiver Glenn Holt will start in place of Ocho Cinco.
Ocho Cinco had ankle surgery in June and a shoulder injury in August, and has not been as involved in the Bengals' offense as much as in previous years. Meanwhile, his former college teammate, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, has become the team's primary receiver.
Houshmandzadeh leads the NFL with 73 catches, and has four touchdowns. Ocho Cinco, a downfield threat in previous years, has 41 catches, none for more than 22 yards.
Information from ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen, ESPN.com writer James Walker, and The Associated Press was used in this report.