The Cincinnati Bengals have announced three roster moves on Monday, including the re-signing of Michael Johnson to the 53-man roster, the addition of Christian Hackenberg to the practice squad, and rookie cornerback Davontae Harris being placed on Injured/Reserve.
Harris, a 2018 fifth-round pick out of Illinois State, suffered a knee injury against the Cowboys in Week 2 of the preseason, which has kept him sidelined ever since. He made the initial 53-man roster, however, that was so he could be eligible to get the IR-return designation after eight weeks.
During the last three college football seasons, Harris totaled 37 pass defenses at Illinois State. The three-year starter tested well at the combine with a 4.43 second 40 yard dash, 22 reps on the bench press, and a 4.4 20 yard shuttle. He struggles with technique and hip fluidity, which contributed to him falling to the fifth round of the draft.
Before the 2018 NFL Draft began, Harris, who was selected 151st overall in the fifth round, was widely projected as a Day 3 prospect, though some experts didn’t even rank him, including ESPN’s Todd McShay.
It was clear from the beginning that he was a developmental prospect who was going to take some time to get used to playing at the NFL level. That was evident throughout training camp and the preseason and now he’ll have time to further learn the playbook while on IR. Harris could return in Week 9 — or later — if the Bengals choose to use one of their two return designations on the rookie.
In the meantime, the Bengals are set at cornerback with a solid trio of William Jackson, Dre Kirkpatrick and Darqueze Dennard, but the depth behind them is pretty shaky. Don’t be surprised to see several moves made at defensive back in the coming weeks