Cincinnati Bengals tight end C.J. Uzomah continued a hot start to his 2020 season on Thursday night against the Cleveland Browns, hauling in four passes and a touchdown during a 35-30 defeat. Unfortunately for the sixth-year veteran, Uzomah's season also came to an early end on Thursday night. Carted off the field late in the fourth quarter after suffering an apparent leg injury, the 27-year-old starter tore his Achilles while being tackled on a first-down catch, coach Zac Taylor told reporters Friday, and will be sidelined for the remainder of the 2020 campaign.
A fifth-round draft pick of the Bengals in 2015, Uzomah had established himself as a favorite target for new quarterback Joe Burrow, drawing at least five targets in each of Cincinnati's first two games. After catching four passes for 45 yards in Week 1 against the Los Angeles Chargers, the Auburn product reeled in another four passes on Thursday night, including Burrow's first career touchdown throw. He had been working in tandem with 2019 second-rounder Drew Sample against Cleveland, before the latter was tasked with replacing Uzomah for the final minutes of action.
The Bengals have a plethora of wide receivers to help make up for Uzomah's absence in the passing game, but their TE depth chart is now noticeably thinner. Sample, who caught seven passes on Thursday night, totaled just five catches in nine games as a rookie. No. 3 TE Cethan Carter, meanwhile, has caught just two passes in three-plus NFL seasons.
Uzomah debuted as a full-time starter in 2018 after three seasons as a reserve and injury replacement for former Pro Bowler Tyler Eifert. He logged a career-high 43 catches for 439 yards and three touchdowns that year, before posting 27 catches for 242 yards in 2019 alongside Eifert.