CINCINNATI -- One day after he was released under an injury designation by the Cincinnati Bengals, receiver James Wright cleared waivers Wednesday, meaning he will stay with the team as part of its injured reserve.
His season is officially over.
Wright had to be released in order for the Bengals to open a spot on their 90-man roster ahead of training camp, which begins Friday at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals currently have 89 players and are expected to turn to free agency in order to replace Wright.
It's likely the Bengals will opt for a free-agent addition who could be signed to a one-year deal. Coaches still value Wright and were even praising him back in the spring when there was still hope his knee might recover in time for the season. Many believed he'd be the fourth receiver behind A.J. Green, Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu this season. Coaches and trainers hope the 23-year-old Wright can get healthy and become a key contributor in 2016.
Wright originally hurt himself last November after landing awkwardly from a jump at the end of a 30-yard pass late in the Bengals' Week 13 win at Tampa Bay. Like all three of his catches that day, the rookie had just converted a first down on a third-down play.
He appeared in 11 games last season, catching five passes for 91 yards.