Jeremy Hill Injury: Bengals RB Out with Injured Knee vs. Ravens

Adam WellsFeatured Columnist

Cincinnati Bengals running back Jeremy Hill (32) lies on the field after an apparent injury in the second half of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2016, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)
Gary Landers/Associated Press

As the Cincinnati Bengals prepare to wrap up a disappointing season against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, they will do so without running back Jeremy Hill.

The Bengals listed Hill as inactive for the matchup with the Ravens with a knee injury. On Dec. 29, ESPN's Bob Holtzman reported Hill was "unlikely to play."

Hill suffered the injury during the Bengals' 24-20 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 15. He was able to play sparingly against the Houston Texans in Week 16, gaining just eight yards on seven carries. 

The 24-year-old has been Cincinnati's starting running back for the past two seasons, though he has routinely split carries with Giovani Bernard. When Bernard suffered a torn ACL against the Buffalo Bills in Week 11, though, Hill became the guy for Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis.

He had at least 20 carries in three consecutive games from Weeks 13 through 15, topping the 100-yard mark against the Cleveland Browns in Week 14.

Despite Hill's substantial workload, his performance hasn't been impressive since he broke out with 1,124 yards as a rookie in 2014. He's averaged under four yards per carry in each of the past two seasons but has scored 20 rushing touchdowns because his 235-pound frame works well in goal-line packages.

Given the number of key Bengals players who have missed time this season because of injuries, including wide receiver A.J. Green and tight end Tyler Eifert, keeping Hill out to avoid doing further damage protects him ahead of a potential bounce-back season in 2017.