The Bengals have placed Brandon Bell on the Non-Football Injury List, signaling he’s not yet healthy enough to practice when training camp opens this week. Bell still counts against the 90-man offseason roster limit.
Active/NFI is related to an injury that’s non-football related, though it’s really just any injury sustained in either offseason workouts or a previous college injury. It’s unclear what is hindering Bell at this time, but it’s nonetheless bad news for the second-year linebacker, who is squarely on the roster bubble. Hopefully, this issue is minor and he’ll be on the field soon as he looks to compete for a spot on the 53-man roster.
Now entering his second NFL season, Bell initially signed with the Bengals as an undrafted free agent out of Penn State in 2017. As a senior in 2016, Bell recorded 89 tackles, four sacks, two interceptions and three forced fumbles in just 10 games (he missed four games due to injury).
During his four-year career, he finished with 226 total tackles, 27 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks, four interceptions and seven forced fumbles.
Penn State defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Brent Pry had high praise for Bell coming out of college.
“Brandon Bell is one of the most instinctive players that I have coached,” said Pry. “He is not going to wow you on the record board, but when it comes to game film, I am not sure that I have coached a better player that recognizes and plays anticipative defense the way that Brandon does. He is a true gamer.”
After being waived during final cuts, Bell was signed to the practice squad, though injuries to this position led to him being called up in the regular season. He appeared in three games and made six total tackles.