The Cincinnati Bengals on Tuesday placed running back and special teams ace Cedric Peerman on Injured Reserve, effectively ending his season. The team also placed rookie defensive back Brandon Wilson on the active roster after he passed his physical.
Peerman suffered a shoulder injury in the Bengals’ third preseason game on Sunday in Washington. Wilson has not practiced since rookie minicamp, during which he injured his knee in his first week with the Bengals. Wilson had been on the Non-Football Injury list since the start of training camp.
Peerman, an eighth year player, signed a one year, $1.15 million contract with the Bengals this offseason. He spent most of last year on Injured Reserve, too, but was given the designation to return late in the season when Giovani Bernard suffered a season-ending ACL injury. Since the Bengals placed him on IR now, he is not eligible for the designation to return this year. It’s possible the Bengals could cut Peerman with an injury designation instead of keeping him on IR all year.
Peerman has played with three AFC North teams, originally joining the NFL as a Ravens draft pick. He didn't make it past final cuts with the Ravens in his rookie year and was claimed off waivers by the Browns. Soon after, he was cut by the Browns and signed with the Lions. He lasted there through his rookie season, but was waived the following spring. At that point, the Bengals picked him up and he's stuck around in Cincinnati ever since that April 2010 day.
Peerman did not play any offensive snaps this preseason and didn’t play at all until the third preseason game when he injured his shoulder on a punt return, while in coverage. It’s unfortunate because Peeman excels on special teams and has been a Bengals special teams captain.
Wilson is now eligible for his first practice since injuring his knee and is going to have an incredibly tough time making the Bengals’ 53-man roster. The team may try and get him to the practice squad, which may or may not be successful as many teams were reportedly interested in drafting him, including the New England Patriots.
The Bengals traded up in the sixth round to draft Wilson out of Houston this year. A triple threat, Wilson played both cornerback and running back in college, in addition to being a key special teams player. In 2015, Wilson was the only player in college football to score two touchdowns on offense, two touchdowns on defense and two touchdowns on special teams.
“My goal is to make the roster,” Wilson told Cincy Jungle this offseason. “As of right now, that’s my main focus. And once I do that, I’m going to set out on new goals.”
With Peerman off the roster, the Bengals may be making room for 2016 undrafted addition Tra Carson, who spent last year on the practice squad. As for Wilson, he’ll be competing with a crowded, yet injured, safety room. The Bengals have George Iloka and Shawn Williams as their starters, but both are injured. Iloka is nearly recovered from a hyperextended knee, but has not yet played this preseason. Williams is dealing with a dislocated elbow, and is expected back in the first month of the season.
Behind them are Clayton Fejedelem, who has started all three preseason games and Derron Smith, who also started on Sunday in Washington. Undrafted rookie Demetrious Cox has been rounding out the group with Wilson on NFI up to this point. Now, Wilson has one game (which it’s unclear if he’ll play in) to prove he deserves a spot on the roster this year. It will be interesting to see what the Bengals do with him when roster cuts arrive on Saturday.