The Cincinnati Bengals have made it through the first 12 weeks of the regular season without many injuries, but injuries are now starting to pile up in the secondary.
During Sunday's 31-7 win over the St. Louis Rams, starting slot corner Leon Hall left temporarily with a right arm injury, though he was able to return and record the Bengals' defense's first pick-six of the season on Nick Foles in the second half. Also exiting the game was cornerback Chris Lewis-Harris, who suffered a rib injury in the first half and did not return after the team ruled him out for the rest of the contest.
It's never good when a team immediately rules a player out, and it could mean Lewis-Harris is going to miss some time. Because this comes one week after Darqueze Dennard's season-ending shoulder injury, the Bengals may be forced to sign a new cornerback soon.
Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle and National Football Post is reporting that free agent cornerback Chykie Brown is working out for Cincinnati today. Brown was signed by the New York Giants this offseason to a two-year, $2-million deal before being released during final roster cuts. He was dealing with a knee sprain that cost him most of the preseason, which helped lead to his release and no team showing much interest in him since then.
You may remember Brown from his three and a half year career with the Baltimore Ravens after they took him in the fifth round of the 2011 NFL draft out of Texas. You may also remember him from being on the wrong end of an A.J. Green game-winning touchdown in Baltimore during the 2014 season.
Brown was the guy who Green beat deep for the go-ahead score, but everyone remembers more how badly Green broke Darian Stewart's ankles:
Brown was waived in the middle of last season after playing in seven games to start the season. In total he played 46 games (2 starts) with Baltimore while notching only eight career pass deflections and no interceptions. He was then claimed by the Giants and went on to play in eight games (4 starts) with the G-Men in 2014. He was later re-signed to that two-year deal in March before ultimately being cut in August.
Before being cut, the Giants has experimented with Brown playing at safety, despite him playing exclusively at corner in the NFL. The Bengals love having versatile players who can play multiple positions, so that may help Brown get a job in Cincy now or in the future if more injuries at corner arise.
In addition to all of this, cornerback Adam Jones dealing with a foot injury that has him at less than 100-percent, as he told Bengals.com's Geoff Hobson after Sunday's win over the Rams.
"(I) wasn’t 100 percent. When you lose two in a row, sometimes you have to suck up the pain and help the team out," Jones said. Asked what percent he was, Jones figured, "Maybe 65 percent."
Depending on the severity of Lewis-Harris' injury, it's possible Brown could sign with the Bengals, but that would only be if Lewis-Harris is placed on season-ending I.R. There's no one on the roster worth cutting right now to sign Brown, who hasn't shown he can be anything more than a fourth or fifth corner.
There's also Troy Hill sitting on the practice squad if another corner needs to be added to the 53-man roster. Hill would obviously be more ideal given he knows the defense and has been practicing with the team all season.