The Cincinnati Bengals made a surprising pair of roster moves on Tuesday.
The first was placing Cedric Peerman on Injured Reserve, ending his 2017 season and perhaps career with the Bengals. Peerman suffered a shoulder injury in the Bengals’ third preseason game on Sunday in Washington, though it wasn’t initially thought to be this serious.
With Peerman off the roster, the Bengals also activated Brandon Wilson from the Non-Football Injury list (NFI) after he passed his physical, meaning he’s now eligible to practice.
Both of these moves have dramatic effects on how the Bengals will be constructing the final 53-man roster this weekend. So with that in mind, we’re doing a winners and losers piece as a result of these moves.
Obviously, Brandon Wilson is the big winner from this move. His mysterious knee injury was reportedly threatening to keep him out for all of 2017. Now, he may not even miss a game as he gets ready quickly enough for his first preseason action on Thursday. It’s hard to see Wilson not being able to practice up until now and then suiting up for a Thursday game, but it’s not out of the question.
After the Bengals traded up to selection Wilson in Round 6 of this year’s NFL Draft, it’s hard to see him being waived during final cuts. My guess is he remains as a fourth or fifth safety who can also play running back in a pinch. He has experience at cornerback also (more so than safety), so he provides emergency help at three different positions.
With Peerman gone, Tra Carson is now the heavy favorite for the fourth running back spot. That is, so long as the Bengals keep four backs, which isn’t a guarantee if Wilson makes the final roster and can play there.
Even so, Carson is a big winner from these moves simply because he wasn’t going to win that fourth spot as long as Peerman was healthy. Now, Carson has a real chance of making a 53-man roster.
And with both Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill enduring injuries in the last two years, it’s not out of the question that Carson is thrust into an offensive role at some point in 2017. Though, Joe Mixon will surely be the recipient of any big opportunities at running back.
The oft-forgotten running back in Cincinnati, Jarveon Williams has quietly had a decent showing in training camp and the preseason. He’s not going to make the final roster, but he’s played well enough to earn as spot on the practice squad.
But, it’s hard to see Cincinnati keeping both Williams and Carson on the practice squad. By Carson now having an easier path to the 53-man roster, Williams, in turn, now has a better shot at sticking to the practice squad.
Well, duh. Of course Cedric Peerman is the biggest loser in this whole ordeal. He’s now at risk of spending 2017 on IR and not on a football field. He’s not eligible for the IR-return designation. It’s possible the Bengals could cut Peerman with an injury designation instead of keeping him on IR all year.
Even so, this is the second-straight year that Peerman has landed on IR due to a preseason injury. The special teams ace’s career appears to be nearing its end.
One of the pleasant surprises of camp and the preseason was Demetrious Cox. The undrafted free agent out of Michigan State was making noise at safety. Coupled with injuries to George Iloka and Shawn Williams, Cox has seen extended snaps this preseason while doing well with them.
With Williams possibly missing the start of the regular season, there was a real chance that Cox made the 53-man roster to provide depth there. However, with Wilson coming off IR, those chances took a big hit. Cox is still in line for a spot on the practice squad if he clears waivers, but it’s unfortunate his chances at the 53-man roster look very slim now with Wilson back in the fold.