12-17-02, 4:20 p.m.
BY GEOFF HOBSON
With starting free safety Cory Hall lost for the season with a torn labrum in his shoulder, the Bengals claimed former Viking Jason Perry off waivers and signed him to the active roster Tuesday after Minnesota released him Monday.
With Hall now the eighth Bengal to go on injured reserve, that leaves the club with two healthy safeties in strong safeties JoJuan Armour and rookie Marquand Manuel, unless Perry is active Sunday against the Saints. Manuel may end up making his first start at free safety because Mark Roman (knee) is questionable.
The 6-0, 200-pound Perry, taken in the fourth round out of North Carolina State by the Chargers in 1999, was cut by San Diego just before the start of this regular season after a stint he was used primarily as a special teams player. He hooked on with the Vikings Oct. 3 and was inactive for six games that
included last week against New Orleans.
Hall, who becomes a free agent after the season, finished his year as the club's fourth-leading tackler with 46. He had one interception and got his first two sacks of the season last Sunday against Jacksonville.
"Cory Hall is to be saluted for the effort he gave in the game," said Bengals head coach Dick LeBeau. "He refused to come out of the game in several instances. Cory had a pretty tough injury, but he just hung in there and played, and played pretty well."
Trainer Paul Sparling said Hall suffered the injury earlier in the season and that it kept getting worse as the season went along. He'll undergo arthroscopic surgery Friday.
Perry, 26, missed virtually all of the 2000 season after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in his knee during the week before the second game of the season. He started five games in 1999 and had 26 tackles and a fumble recovery in earning a spot on "The Pro Football Weekly," rookie team. He made three starts in 2001 and came up with his first two interceptions, the first one a 37-yard touchdown return against Buffalo.
Perry and former Chargers teammate Lloyd Harrison also have a screen appearance to their credits. They appeared as dancers in the music video, "What Chu Like?" with hip-hop artist Da Brat.