Jun 11 2014, 9:58pm CDT | by Poch de la Rosa
"With one tight end nursing an unspecified injury the Cincinnati Bengals on Tuesday re-signed another.
"Alex Smith, a 10-year veteran who had been an unrestricted free agent this offseason, was added just as tight end Jermaine Gresham goes through his own injury.
"A league source told ESPN's Field Yates on Tuesday that hernia surgery has kept Gresham out of on-field practices since they began two weeks ago. Coach Marvin Lewis admitted to reporters last week that Gresham was hurt, but he declined to go into specifics of the injury.
"Not only has Gresham missed all of the voluntary organized team activities to this point, he also wasn't practicing in Tuesday's mandatory minicamp, although he was in attendance. Before that sighting, he hadn't been seen by media since early May, when he was around for voluntary offseason conditioning workouts.
"According to Yates, there is no exact timetable on Gresham's return.
"With Smith's return, the Bengals are officially at full capacity on their roster. They now have 90 players. While they can cut players and add others at any time between now and training camp, this figures to be the roster they will carry into the preseason.
"'Alex played significant snaps for us last year, and it's good to get him back in the fold,' coach Marvin Lewis said. 'He's ready to go physically, and it's minicamp week, so he jumps right back in there for us.'
"Smith's only season with the Bengals was 2013. He signed last offseason as an unrestricted free agent from Cleveland. He played in every one of Cincinnati's regular-season games last year, starting two of them. His last start came during the regular-season finale, when he played in place of both Gresham and Tyler Eifert, the Bengals' top two tight ends who had suffered injuries the week before.
"Eifert also has missed time this spring. He didn't practice last week after battling through a minor shoulder injury. He began Tuesday's minicamp, but didn't finish the workout.
"Smith has played in 119 career games, making 57 starts. He also has 163 catches for 1,473 yards and 13 touchdowns."
Geoff Hobson of the Bengals' official website earlier reported on Gresham's absence in his June 3 update, saying the Bengals' tight end should be back in time for training camp although no specific details regarding his injury were divulged back then.
"It's believed tight end Jermaine Gresham has an injury that won't prevent him from being ready for Bengals training camp in late July.
"Gresham didn't work again Tuesday, the fourth of nine voluntary practices, and indications are he won't be in the remaining five or the three-day mandatory mincamp June 10-12. Tyler Eifert, the other starting tight end, is out with a shoulder injury that is not related to the stinger that limited him to three snaps in last year's playoff game and it's unclear when he'll return.
"'It's more of a feel thing. It's not a serious injury,' Eifert said.
"Head coach Marvin Lewis wouldn't elaborate but he said he expects both to be ready for training camp. He said Gresham has been on the premises rehabbing.
"'He's not just out here because he's not practicing. He's doing what he has to do,' Lewis said."
The 25-year-old Gresham is entering his fifth NFL season -- all with the Bengals. He was originally drafted by Cincinnati 21st overall in the 2010 NFL Draft. He has amassed 218 receptions, 2,262 yards and 19 touchdowns, per ESPN stats.
Poch de la Rosa
Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.
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