The Bengals head into Sunday's game in Jacksonville (4:05 p.m.-Cincinnati's Channel 12) with 11 defensive backs after Saturday's call to the practice squad for rookie cornerback Chris Lewis-Harris. In response to the spate of injuries that could potentially put four cornerbacks on Sunday's inactive list, the Bengals cut tight end Richard Quinn to make room.
One cornerback, rookie Dre Kirkpatrick (knee), is definitely going to be on the inactive list since he has yet to return to practice. New starting safety and long-time cornerback Nate Clements (calf) and backup cornerback Jason Allen (thigh) look headed there after being declared doubtful on Friday. And cornerback Leon Hall (hamstring) is a likely inactive candidate after he was declared questionable following a week he didn’t practice.
The cornerback position has been hit with injuries ever since the spring practices began in May. The signing of the undrafted Lewis-Harris out of Tennessee-Chattanooga on the first day of training camp was itself a response to injuries to Clements, Kirkpatrick, rookie cornerback Shaun Prater, and Hall easing back into things off an Achilles injury.
The 5-10, 180-pound Lewis-Harris played all four preseason games with 13 tackles and a sack before being waived Aug. 31 and signed to the practice squad Sept. 1.
Quinn joined Donald Lee in becoming the second tight end cut in 48 hours, leaving the Bengals with Jermaine Gresham and Orson Charles. But that has been typical this year because those are the only two tight ends they've had active for games.
Lewis-Harris looks to be insurance as well as a special teamer for Sunday as the Bengals try to find extra cornerbacks among their safeties. It's quite a brew in the secondary, where hybrid safety Chris Crocker returns after an eight-month hiatus to appear in his 127th NFL game, former top 10 picks Adam Jones and Terence Newman continue their reboot with plenty of snaps at corner while Lewis-Harris figures to make his first NFL appearance.