According to Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis, safety Gibril Wilson will take part during Thursday's preseason game against the Carolina Panthers in Cincinnati. This will be the first opportunity Bengals fans will have watching Wilson participate during game conditions for over a year. After signing a one-year deal in 2010, Wilson suffered a torn ACL in his left knee against the Philadelphia Eagles on August 20. He was placed on season-ending Injured Reserve days later.
Cincinnati re-signed Wilson on July 30 to help bolster a rather thin secondary, especially with safety depth behind starters Reggie Nelson and Chris Crocker. After the Bengals lost during negotiations with Donte Whitner to the San Francisco 49ers, the Bengals worked out a deal with the 49ers safety for Taylor Mays.
It's still debatable if Wilson makes the squad, especially with the uncertainty about his injury. We suspect he'll not only be forced to prove that he's healthy, but a big-time contributor as well. Otherwise Wilson could be dropped in favor for younger development with Robert Sands and/or Jeromy Miles.
Before signing with the Bengals, Wilson had a very productive six-year career as a safety with the New York Giants, Oakland Raiders and Miami Dolphins, posting 600 tackles, 8.5 quarterback sacks, 13 interceptions, 31 passes defensed, seven forced fumbles and six fumbles recoveries.
Bengals defensive backs coach Kevin Coyle is looking forward to Wilson's return.
"I'm excited about what Gibril (Wilson) can give us if he holds up. The way he was playing before he got hurt had me thinking he was going to be a real factor for us."