File this news under close call. On Monday, the Bengals announced strong safety George Iloka will miss three to four weeks with a sprained knee.
The injury happened on Sunday during a no-contact drill. He had an MRI on Monday that revealed no ligament damage to the injured knee. The time off means George will return a few weeks before the Bengals’ opener against the Ravens. And he wasn’t the only safety injured on Sunday.
Iloka’s replacement, Derron Smith, also suffered an injury during Sunday’s practice. Similar to Iloka, the staff carted Smith off the field as well. It’s uncertain how long Smith will be out.
Bengals sign Cedric Thompson
To account for the lack of depth at the safety position, the Bengals signed Cedric Thompson. Thompson was a fifth-round pick of the Miami Dolphins in 2015. He also had stints with the New England Patriots and most recently with the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings waived Thompson on May 4.
The timing is perfect for Thompson. With Iloka and Smith missing time, Thompson can come in, pick up valuable reps, and possibly earn a roster spot in the process, depending on how much time Smith misses.
Another player who could pick up more playing time is cornerback Joshua Shaw. Shaw has experience playing safety where he filled in last season. His versatility is an important asset for a team needing to build depth with the recent injuries.