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Poll: Will Wallace Gilberry make an impact in his return to Cincinnati?

The re-signing of Wallace Gilberry fills some depth at a key position for the Bengals. But, will it matter?

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Signing a backup defensive linemen who was available on the free agent market at the mid-point of the season is usually not met with much fanfare. But when the Bengals signed Wallace Gilberry to re-join the team this week, it was not your average mid-season signing.

Gilberry was once one of the Bengals most heralded and beloved rotational backups. He wasn’t a star player like Geno Atkins or A.J. Green, but Bengals fans always felt good when Gilberry had to go into the game because they knew the team was in good hands. Over the course of his four seasons with the Bengals in his first stint (2012-2015), he recorded 70 tackles, 17.5 sacks, four fumble recoveries (one for a touchdown), and six pass deflections all despite only starting in 19 of 62 possible games.

There is no question that the Bengals needed to shore up their depth at defensive end with Michael Johnson under performing and neither Will Clarke or Margus Hunt making the impact that Gilberry once made. The primary question now is: can Gilberry go back to being the player he was when with the Bengals from 2012-2015?

First of all, let’s remember that 2016 has not been kind to Gilberry. He signed with Detroit this offseason after the Bengals failed to reach a contract extension with him, but he struggled to adjust and fought through injuries in the process. He only started one of four games he spent with the Lions and recorded three tackles in the process. Gilberry ended up on injured reserve with an abdomen injury in Week 5 before being released two days into Week 6. At this point, it’s hard to know if he's capable of getting back to where he once was and if he'll be prepared to get on the field for the Bengals in 2016. There's also the question of his health, as he was released after being placed on Injured Reserve.

At the same time, it is worth remembering that if Gilberry can actually get on the field, it shouldn’t be particularly hard for him to find playing time. He has a history with the Bengals’ coaching staff that bodes well for his chance to re-develop chemistry and start playing well again. The Bengals have enough depth at the defensive end position and have made it eight weeks without Gilberry, so, they can afford to be patient with Gilberry and ease him back onto the field when he is ready. The Bengals wouldn’t have signed him to the roster if they didn’t believe he could make a difference, right?

What do you think, Bengals fans? Will Wallace Gilberry be able to make an impact this year? Let us know what you think in the poll and sound off in the comments!