Cincinnati Bengals DT DJ Reader goes on IR with knee injury

CINCINNATI -- Bengals defensive tackle DJ Reader was officially placed on injured reserve Thursday, the team announced.

Reader left the team's Week 3 win over the New York Jets with a left knee injury. According to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, Reader injured an MCL. However, he will not need surgery and is expected to be out for roughly six weeks.

The former Clemson standout has been one of the anchors of Cincinnati's defense since he signed with the Bengals. In 2020, he came to Cincinnati in free agency on a four-year deal worth $53 million, one of the first external free agents to sign such a deal with the franchise.

Reader appeared in five games in 2020 before he suffered a season-ending quad injury. He made a full return in 2021 and showed why the Bengals deemed him worthy of a big salary. Reader tallied 43 tackles and two sacks and commanded double-teams from opposing offensive linemen on a regular basis.

Because of his injured reserve designation, Reader must miss a minimum of four weeks before he is eligible to return. Bengals defensive tackle Josh Tupou is expected to take his place in the starting lineup.