The Cincinnati Bengals have placed Nick Vigil on season-ending injured reserve due to a back injury, the team announced Friday. In a corresponding move, the team signed Kent Perkins off of the practice squad.
Vigil, a second-year player out of Utah State, was the Bengals’ third-round draft pick in 2016. He played in 11 games (all starts) this season. Despite being inactive for the last three games, his 77 tackles (43 solo) still lead the team. He also recorded one sack, one interception and five total passes defensed.
While those numbers are nice, they overshadow Vigil struggling mightily in his starting role this season. He’s been ranked among Pro Football Focus’ worst linebackers for much of the season. Though he’s under contract for two more seasons, he’s far from being assured of a major role in this defense going forward.
Vigil had actually been battling an ankle injury, which kept him out for the last three games, but it was a new back injury that helped lead to him finally going to injured reserve.
Perkins, who measures in at 6’5” and 320 pounds, is a rookie from the University of Texas. He originally signed as a college free agent with the Bengals this year. He was waived during final roster cuts and has spent the entire season on the practice squad ever since.
With so many injuries along the offensive line, Perkins may not only be active this Sunday against the Detroit Lions, but he may even get some playing time.