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Chris Crocker's Return To Cincinnati Bengals Off To A Good Start

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Chris Crocker, who signed last week in response to injuries in the secondary, returned to prove he's healthy with an interception that largely sealed Cincinnati's win over the Jaguars.

Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Cincinnati Bengals defensive back Chris Crocker made an impression. With people supporting the move, it was a friendly reminder how well he played earlier during his Bengals career. Those that were against it were either surprised (but in a good way) or cocking the "It's only Jacksonville excuse" hammer. Either way Crocker's noted intelligence showed during the game when he noticed a tendency from Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert. Crocker said that he trusted his instincts and jumped the Justin Blackmon's inside route. The fourth quarter interception gave the Bengals a 27-10 lead -- and eventual win.

"Sometimes you just have to count your blessings. Things happen for a reason and I’m just happy to be back and be able to contribute, while showing that I’m 100-percent healthy. This is a little bit of vindication and a great way to start off.

According to Crocker he played a mixed role in the secondary.

"I played a little nickel and I played a little safety in the base," Crocker said. "That's what you have to do nowadays. You've got to be versatile. You can't be just an in-the-box safety."

When we argued that re-signing Chris Crocker earlier this week made sense, there was disdain from some. One even argued that he is "going to get picked on all game." Though we understand the perspective why others would have a problem with it, the Bengals made the move because Crocker knows the system, knows the players and someone that brought stability to an otherwise incapacitated secondary.

Additionally, and more importantly, we argued that judging Crocker's career right now based on what happened in 2011 was unfair. Because we believed that not only was he fighting through existing injuries, he played with a knee that underwent MCL surgery in 2010.

So we went back through our archives in 2011 for a little memory recall. Crocker appeared on every injury report dating back to week five in 2011, except for week eight against the Seattle Seahawks. Most of the reported issues were a knee and the team's trend sitting him during Wednesday's practices began in late September. He also showed up on the injury list with an injured bicep in early December.

Week 17 BAL Knee DNP LP FP Probable
Week 16 ARI Knee LP LP FP Probable
Week 15 STL Knee DNP LP LP Probable
Week 14 HOU Bicep DNP LP FP Probable
Week 13 PIT Bicep DNP LP LP Questionable
Week 12 CLE Knee DNP LP FP Probable
Week 11 BAL Knee DNP FP FP Probable
Week 10 PIT Knee DNP FP FP Probable
Week 9 TEN Knee DNP LP FP Probable
Week 6 IND Knee DNP LP FP Probable
Week 5 JAC Knee DNP FP FP Probable

Now obviously he didn't appear at risk from missing a game with his ailments because he played through them. Either he was just that tough or the team elected caution by giving Crocker and his knee some rest so he'll be at his best come game day.

Either way the comparison from last year to this year needs apply the variable of Crocker being healthy in 2012 and playing at less than 100 percent in 2011.