We wrote earlier today that Pat Sims had a broken forearm and would sit out the rest of the season. Today, the Bengals made it official placing Sims on Injured Reserve, leaving Domata Peko (who has missed the past five games), Tank Johnson, Orien Harris and Shaun Smith at defensive tackle.
And thus, the only response one could possibly have in this scenario is to sign Keiwan Ratliff. Geoff Hobson writes:
Ratliff finished 2007 with Indianapolis and played 13 games there in 2008. He was signed by the Steelers for 2009 as an unrestricted free agent and has 73 career NFL games with 12 starts, 128 tackles, five interceptions and 17 passes defensed. He has played in two postseason games, one with the Bengals in 2005 and one with Indianapolis in 2007.
After watching Tom Nelson against the Jets (shudder), this might be a good move, if for anything some padded depth. However, as Hobson notes, with Nelson and Chris Crocker banged up, Ratliff can help at safety. He might have been somewhat of a disappointment being the team's second round pick in 2004 (on the punt returns alone), but he's an upgrade across the board on the depth chart where Dwarves roam. No, it's not a signing that causes one to parade in their boxers playing folk music in the back yard (see Carson Palmer draft pick), but he'll help.