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Bengals considered deactivating T.O. for last three games

Terrell Owens, Drayton Florence

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Terrell Owens (81) struts after scoring on a four-yard touchdown reception in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 21, 2010, in Cincinnati. Buffalo Bills corner back Drayton Florence (29) walks away at right. (AP Photo/Ed Reinke)


Though it’s now academic because Terrell Owens is done for the year due to injury, T.O.'s injury on Sunday was nearly avoided, because the Bengals seriously considered deactivating him.

Per a league source, the Bengals debated the possibility of choosing to put T.O. on ice each of the last three games of the season. Though a team can’t send a player home with pay, it is impossible as a practical matter for the NFLPA to challenge a coaching decision to make a given player one of the eight per game who don’t dress on Sunday.

The move would not have been based on Owens’ controversial comments from the latest edition of The T.Ocho Show, but based on his attitude and performance in practice and games.

Though deactivation would have kept Owens from tearing a meniscus on Sunday, it could have hampered his ability to land with a new team in 2011, since it would have given him another issue to deal with as he looks for his next team.

On that note, Peter King of NBC reported during Football Night in America that Owens, 37, definitely won’t be back with the team in 2011, but that he plans to play for two more years.

The challenge will be finding a team that will employ him for the first of those two seasons.