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Bengals Safety George Iloka Aiming For Training Camp Return

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The young safety emerged for the Bengals in 2014, but has been hampered by an injury that has kept him out of OTAs and minicamp. It sounds like he's expecting to come back when it really counts.

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Before Training Camp kicks off a few weeks down the road, the Cincinnati Bengals are using caution with some players who have nagging injuries this spring. Two of the bigger names who have mysteriously been missing from early sessions have been defensive end Margus Hunt and safety George Iloka.

The team has been rather mum on the status of these players, the rumors have been that Hunt hurt his back lifting weights in the offseason. Iloka's ailment, however, hasn't been made public. There are some rumblings of resting a knee that had a procedure done in early 2015, but that hasn't been confirmed. He's been appearing and disappearing from sessions, but it sounds like he'll be ready to go when it counts.

It's good news for both Iloka and the Bengals, as a couple crossroads are nearing. One is the contract status of Iloka, a fourth-year defensive back, who is set to be a free agent after this season. It's possible the team looks to extend his contract this offseason, as they have with other core players in recent years, but having Iloka healthy for Training Camp would put more leverage in his corner in that regard.

Iloka is quietly becoming one of the Bengals' best defensive players. After starting full-time for the first time in his pro career, Iloka had a quality 2014 campaign, complete with 74 total tackles and three interceptions. If you're a fan of Pro Football Focus, they recently named the former Boise State Bronco the team's "Secret Superstar".