A promising prospect from the 2009 college free agent pool, Nelson returns for his third Bengals season … Hit a sophomore skid last year, limited to eight games due to early season injury rehab and a late-season illness … Played 12 games with three starts as a rookie.
2010 PARTICIPATION: Did not play in preseason, and spent Games 1-5 of regular season on Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform list, due to knee injury suffered in 2009 regular-season finale at N.Y. Jets … Returned to practice on Oct. 20 on a roster exemption, and was activated to roster on Oct. 22 … Played in Games 6-13 … His season ended Dec. 14, when he was placed on Reserve/Non-Football Illness list.
2010 HIGHLIGHTS: Made 2010 season debut Oct. 24 at Atlanta, playing on special teams, and saw first action on defense Oct. 31 vs. Miami, recording one tackle … On Nov. 14 at Indianapolis, recovered a Bengals onside kick at the Cincinnati 45 late in the fourth quarter, giving the offense a chance for a potential game-winning TD drive, but the Bengals lost a fumble on the first scrimmage play following his recovery … Two tackles Nov. 21 vs. Buffalo … One tackle and one special teams tackle Nov. 25 at N.Y. Jets … Two tackles Dec. 12 at Pittsburgh.
PREVIOUS SEASONS: 2009 - Made NFL debut Oct. 4 at Cleveland, playing on special teams, and logged one tackle … Saw extensive action in place of injured FS Chris Crocker on Dec. 6 vs. Detroit and logged first pro INT, snagging a Matt Stafford pass at Bengals 32 in fourth quarter … Also vs. Detroit, had additional pass defensed and two tackles … Saw extensive action for second straight week Dec. 13 at Minnesota, when he again replaced injured Crocker and logged personal season-high six tackles … Recorded first career NFL start Dec. 20 at San Diego, in place of Crocker, and had four tackles … Posted five tackles Jan. 3 at N.Y. Jets before leaving in second quarter with injured knee.
COLLEGE: Four-year standout in the FCS ranks, Nelson played the 2005-08 seasons at Illinois State, starting all 46 games he played … As a senior, led team in tackles (81) and led Missouri Valley Conference in punt returns (15.7 avg.) … Senior season included an 82-yard punt return for a TD and a 97-yard score on a kickoff return … Seven career INTs, including two in one game against Heisman Trophy finalist Chase Daniel of Missouri … Named MVC Freshman of the Year in 2005.
PERSONAL: Hometown is Arlington Heights, Ill. … Honor roll student at John Hersey High School, where as a senior QB he rushed for 900 yards and nine TDs while passing for 1034 yards and eight scores … Also lettered in basketball and baseball in high school.