CINCINNATI (AP) — Guard Christian Westerman has left the Bengals to ponder his future, another setback to an offensive line depleted by injuries and retirements.

Westerman was placed on an exempt list Friday but could return. The fourth-year veteran has played in 16 games, starting two. He was part of a four-man competition to replace starting left guard Clint Boling, who retired shortly before camp started because of a blood clot.

Reserve tackle Kent Perkins also retired earlier this month.

The Bengals thought they'd fixed their longstanding line problems by drafting left tackle Jonah Williams in the first round and installing him as the starter. He suffered a shoulder injury during workouts that will cost him his rookie season.


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