Bengals career over for T.O.?

December 21, 2010

By Marc Hardin
FOXSports Ohio | Bengals Insider
Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2010

Wide receiver Terrell Owens' bounce-back season with the Bengals is over, and so might be his short-lived Cincinnati career.

Owens was placed on injured reserve Tuesday after suffering a left knee injury early in the Bengals' 19-17 home victory Sunday over the Cleveland Browns at Paul Brown Stadium.

Owens had surgery Monday in Birmingham, Ala., to repair torn meniscus cartilage, a procedure performed by Dr. James Andrews. Having played 14 games, he finished his season with 72 receptions, 983 yards and nine touchdowns, all team-leading totals.

"I'll be back. It's minor," Owens said. "It's just a matter of time. Trust me, I'll be back."

Owens finished 17 yards short of his 10th 1,000-yard season. He would have been the third receiver in NFL history to record the feat, following Jerry Rice and Randy Moss.

This is the first time in Owens' 15-year career he has landed on a season-ending injured list. He is the 16th Bengal to be placed on IR. A total of 18 Bengals are on season-ending injured lists.

He said that he originally injured his knee two weeks ago in the home game against New Orleans. He missed two practices last week because of the injury. He was carted off the field Sunday and watched the rest of the game from the locker room.

Owens signed an incentive-laced contract with a $2 million base salary just before the beginning of training camp in July, when March free-agent acquisition Antonio Bryant was deemed unable to play because of a flare-up of an old knee injury suffered in Tampa Bay.

Owens reached two of six $333,000 incentives, boosting his pay this season to $2.67 million.

He started strong, getting on pace for a franchise-record receiving yardage total by amassing 55 catches for 770 yards in the first eight games, with seven touchdowns and 14.0 yards per catch. Owens, who turned 37 on Dec. 7, had no catches on Sunday and finished with just 17 catches for 213 yards (12.5-yard average) and two TDs in his last six games.

Last month, Owens said he was open to the possibility of returning to Cincinnati for his 16th NFL season. But during the past few weeks, he has grown increasingly critical of the team's coaching both during statements in the Bengals' locker room and on the "T.Ocho Show" he co-hosts with Bengals receiver Chad Ochocinco.

The Bengals need a bona fide deep receiving threat for next season, but they might not be interested in bringing back Owens after some of his recent comments against the team were pointed at the very ownership that took a chance on him during the summer when T.O. had no other suitor for his services.

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