The Bengals have a long line of injuries this season, especially on defense. As a result the team is forced to sign free agents off the streets, not only to fill out the roster, but to play -- and in Jonathan Wade's case, to start. The complete depression of injuries continues.
On Tuesday, the Bengals invited former players Marvin White and Keiwan Ratliff to Cincinnati an effort to acquire players that will out the team's depleted secondary roster. As soon as Tom Nelson reportedly "contracted an illness" that would have him out for several weeks -- and by several weeks, we mean the rest of the season -- the Bengals signed former fourth round pick Marvin White.
The team also signed former USC safety Cary Harris, who was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the sixth round of the 2009 NFL Draft, to the practice squad. Harris was waived on final cutdown day by Buffalo, only to re-sign with the Bills for roughly a month's worth of games, capped by a two-interception week 17 performance against the Colts. Harris was released by the Bills in late October this year and signed with the Vikings practice squad in late November. He was released from the practice squad on December 1 and the Bengals signed him to the team's practice squad on Tuesday.
That leaves one spot on the team's 53-man roster.
And that spot was filled Wednesday morning. According to Geoff Hobson, the Bengals are bringing cornerback Keiwan Ratliff back. Ratliff only started eight of 51 games with the Cincinnati Bengals, recording three interceptions, six passes defensed and two forced fumbles in his career with the Bengals.
The signing brings the team's secondary roster back up to nine players. Leon Hall, Johnathan Joseph, Roy Williams and Reggie Nelson are the only players remaining in the secondary that began the season on the 53-man roster.