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Cedric Peerman activated off NFI list, cleared by Bengals to practice

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The Bengals have an intriguing battle brewing at running back, though Peerman is favored to keep his job as the fourth back and special teams captain.

NFL: Preseason-Cincinnati Bengals at Jacksonville Jaguars Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals have activated Cedric Peerman and cleared him to practice this week.

Peerman opened training camp on the Active/Non-Football Injury (NFI) list. He reportedly pulled a hamstring during the team’s conditioning test prior to the start of training camp. That kept Peerman sidelined for all of camp, as well as the team’s preseason opener versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The injury was never thought to be serious, so it’s no surprise seeing Peerman return in time to be cleared for practice as the team gets set to host the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday. Depending on how much work Peerman gets in this week, he could be active in that game while looking to secure his spot on the 53-man roster.

Peerman missed most of the 2016 season after breaking his forearm in the preseason. He was chosen to come off of Injured Reserve late in the season after the team was considering William Jackson III for that as well.

However, running back was a bigger need than cornerback with Giovani Bernard (ACL) and Jeremy Hill (neck, knee) both injured during the season. Bernard’s injury was season ending in Week 11, which led to Peerman’s Week 12 return to the 53-man roster.

An eighth-year NFL player in 2017, Peerman has spent most of his career as a blocker and coverage team man on special teams. He’s played at a very high level in both regards, enough that he was named to the 2016 NFL Pro Bowl.

Special teams is an area that is hard to simulate in training camp as teams tend to shy away from full-speed contact in this regard. Combined with the fact Peerman rarely gets any touches on offense, there was no real urgency for him to be on the field in camp or the first preseason game.

Still, Peerman being absent allowed guys like Tra Carson and Stanley ‘Boom’ Williams to get more reps and showcase their talents. Carson was very impressive in the Bengals’ win over the Buccaneers, enough to think he has a shot at unseating Peerman for the fourth and final running back spot.

Peerman still is most likely to make the final roster as of today, but there’s still three weeks left in the preseason for this battle to be decided.