The Cincinnati Bengals announced Monday that linebacker Rey Maualuga had passed his physical and was cleared to return to practice.
Maualuga, now entering his seventh season with the Bengals, opened training camp on the Active/Non-Football Injury list. He's missed all eight training camp sessions to this point with what was initially called a minor, but undisclosed injury. It has since been revealed Maualuga was dealing with a hamstring injury. It's unclear as to whether Maualuga will play in Friday's preseason opener vs. the New York Giants, but he'll probably be held out with just a few practice opportunities between now and then.
Earlier this offseason, Maualuga signed a three-year contract worth $15 million and will earn $7.5 million in 2015. His -0.1 Pro Football Focus Grade last season was the best grade he's earned since 2010 when he was the starting strongside backer. Maualuga was held to 59 tackles last season, due to a hamstring injury that caused him to miss four games, but when he returned for the last seven games, the Bengals saw a resurgence in the team’s rush defense.
Maualuga has 482 career tackles since being drafted out of USC in the second round of the 2009 draft while playing in 85 games during six seasons. He also has five interceptions and 17 pass deflections in his Bengals career.