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C.J. Uzomah trending toward playing vs. Rams in Super Bowl 56

We break down the news that C.J. Uzomah is dealing with a MCL sprain, and what it means for the Cincinnati Bengals ahead of Super Bowl 56.

Cincinnati Bengals tight end C.J. Uzomah (87) runs after a reception against the Tennessee Titans during a AFC Divisional playoff football game at Nissan Stadium. Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Friday update: Uzomah will again practice on Friday, per James Palmer. Friday’s practice won’t be as intense as Thursday’s, which appears to mean that Uzomah got through that test well, as Palmers believes Uzomah is “trending” toward playing.

Thursday update: Uzomah was officially listed as a limited participant at practice on Thursday, which is a good sign. It’s the first time he’s practiced in some capacity since injuring his knee in the AFC Championship game vs. the Chiefs.

Wednesday PM update: Uzomah was a DNP at practice, but he participated in the team stretch, according to pool reporter Nicki Jhabvala. Head coach Zac Taylor told the media Uzomah looks “positive” and the expectation is he will do more on Thursday.

“Considering where he was when he fell on the turf last Sunday to where he is now, [I’m] really optimistic about how it’s going,” Taylor said. “We’ll continue to see him in action these next two days, but optimistic.”

Update — Wednesday 2/9 — Head coach Zac Taylor is optimistic Uzomah can play in the Super Bowl, but the tight end will not practice Wednesday ahead of the game.

Update — Wednesday 2/9 — Uzomah ripped off his leg brace to loud cheers at the Bengals pep rally.

Update — Monday 2/7 — Uzomah still needs to get in some practice and test his knee injury this week, but he did tell reporters on Monday that “I’m not missing the biggest game of my life,” per James Palmer. How healthy he’ll actually be is a question still, but it sounds like he is going to push through as much as the coaches will let him.

Update — Friday 2/4 — Uzomah didn’t practice on Friday, which means he was out all week. The true test for his availability will probably be Thursday and Friday of next week.

Update — Thursday 2/3 — Uzomah didn’t practice on Wednesday or Thursday due to his knee injury. This was expected, as he will likely rest all of the off week and then try to practice at some point in the week before the big game.

The Cincinnati Bengals believe that starting tight end C.J. Uzomah has a decent chance to play in Super Bowl 56 in the next two weeks if the MRI comes out the way they hope, per NFL Network’s James Palmer.

Uzomah suffered an MCL sprain in the first half of Sunday’s AFC Championship game against the Kansas City Chiefs and did not return.

Fantasy football implications

Heading into Sunday’s title game, Uzomah was emerging as a threat in the middle of the field for the Bengals’ offense. The 29-year-old tight end had 13 receptions (14 targets) for 135 yards and a touchdown through the first two playoff games. On Sunday, he only had two targets before exiting with a knee injury.

If the MRI comes back clean, that will be a big boost to Cincy’s offense as the Los Angeles Rams’ defense struggles to cover the tight end. Backup tight end Drew Sample took over for Uzomah and had one reception (two targets) for four yards in Sunday’s win against the Chiefs.