During the current two-game win streak of the Cincinnati Bengals, their defense has been rather impressive.
They have forced six turnovers, only allowed one touchdown in five red zone possessions, and allowed just 13.5 points per game. As they look to keep pace atop the AFC North, the Bengals are getting some reinforcements defensively to assist in that quest.
On Wednesday, defensive end Khalid Kareem and rookie cornerback Cam Taylor-Britt were cleared to return to practice from being on the reserve/injured list.
The 21-day practice has now begun for Kareem and Taylor-Britt. Cincinnati can activate them on the active roster at any time during that span. If not, they will have to be put on the reserve/injured list for the remainder of the season.
Kareem was the Bengals’ fifth-round pick in 2020, and it’s been a struggle on the injury front ever since.
He was placed on the active/non-football injury in July of his rookie season and was later activated in August.
Kareem accumulated 19 tackles and a sack as a rotation piece, playing just 24% (259) of the Bengals’ defensive snaps.
Any hopes of Kareem taking the next step in his development in 2021 faded when he was placed on the reserve/injured list in September with a shoulder issue that put him out until late October.
He was inactive for three more games and was ineffective with just nine tackles in his seven appearances.
With the recent injury to defensive tackle DJ Reader, the Bengals need all the soldiers they can get in the trenches, which makes Kareem finding his way on the active roster of pretty high importance.
As a second pick back in April, Taylor-Britt was expected to challenge veteran Eli Apple for the CB2 role, but an abdominal injury put him on the shelf at the end of August.
In his first practice back on Wednesday, Taylor-Britt didn’t waste any time making an impact as he used his athletic ability to play the role of Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson on the scout team to prepare for the Bengals division showdown against them on Sunday.
Taylor-Britt was taken by the Bengals one spot after safety Daxton Hill as a part of a revamping of the team’s secondary for the foreseeable future.
His start has been slow, but it’s still early enough in his rookie campaign for Taylor-Britt to show the skills that made him a two-time All-Big Ten performer at Nebraska.