By Nick Shook
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Cincinnati’s remote playoff chances just became a little less likely.
The Bengals placed veteran cornerback Adam Jones (groin) on injured reserve on Saturday, the team announced. Jones exited Cincinnati’s Monday night loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers early in the first quarter with the injury and did not return.
In a corresponding roster move, Cincinnati promoted cornerback Tony McRae from the practice squad.
Jones appeared in all but two of Cincinnati’s games this season, starting opposite Dre Kirkpatrick in a secondary that also includes Darqueze Dennard and second-year corner William Jackson. Not many teams are equipped to handle a loss at cornerback, but Cincinnati is one of the few who might be able to do so. Of the four aforementioned defensive backs, Jones ranks last among them in percentage of defensive snaps played (46 percent). Kirkpatrick and Dennard lead the group at 84 and 78 percent. Jackson has played just over half (55 percent).
Still, though, without Jones, Cincinnati loses its veteran leader in its secondary. Perhaps this is the last we’ve seen of the 34-year-old Jones — who has a year left on his contract but a dead cap number under $1 million — in a Bengals uniform.