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Chris Crocker returns to Bengals

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With several defensive backs dealing with injuries, the Bengals have looked to a familiar face to give them a bit more depth in the secondary.

The team has re-signed safety Chris Crocker, who they released in April. Crocker, originally a third-round pick by the Browns in 2003, started all 16 games at safety for the Bengals last season and made 44 total starts for the team over the last four years. Crocker had 61 tackles and 3.5 sacks for the team last season, production that, even with the caveat of a history of knee issues, somewhat surprisingly wasn’t enough to get him a look with another team over the summer

Crocker played some nickel corner for the Bengals over the years, which could be a role he fills in the short term as well. Cornerbacks Nate Clements, who started at safety last week, and Leon Hall both missed practice on Wednesday, rookie Dre Kirkpatrick hasn’t been on the field yet this year and safety Reggie Nelson was limited in practice. Crocker told Geoff Hobson of the Bengals website that he thinks he’s ready to start right away, something cornerback Adam Jones also thinks is possible.

“I’m a Crock fan,” Jones said. “He can definitely come in (and start) if he watches tape. You know he knows the defense. He’s a great add.”

The Bengals haven’t yet announced a corresponding move to create space on the roster.

UPDATE 1:49 p.m. ET: The Bengals announced that they have released tight end Donald Lee.

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8 Responses to “Chris Crocker returns to Bengals”
  1. sicarii87 says: Sep 27, 2012 1:40 PM

    Finally some decent news on defense

  2. johnson18 says: Sep 27, 2012 1:45 PM

    Representing the Marshall Thundering Herd!

  3. pskotte says: Sep 27, 2012 2:27 PM

    He was a pretty good DB for a while but his performance faded recently (his tape of last year’s playoff game sure won’t make any highlight footage). Not sure how much he has left in the tank – after being released last year nobody picked him up. Let’s hope the extra rest will help him improve.

  4. samoanjungle says: Sep 27, 2012 2:32 PM

    Scary – Jones & Crocker had some communication/assignment issues last season that allowed some long TD passes when they were on the field together. Jones ripped into Crocker on the sideline in one game.

  5. scchamil says: Sep 27, 2012 8:47 PM

    It’s a move that makes a lot of sense. We need DBs – he’s solid (particularly if healthy), knows Zimmer’s schemes and has respect of the locker room. No brainer for right now.

    Don’t like the Donald Lee release though – was looking forward to having him back. One catch by Orson Charles is not enough to make me completely comfortable if Greshem gets dinged.

  6. stoptrippn says: Sep 27, 2012 9:36 PM

    Mays is the starter. Crocker is the back up. Plain and simple

  7. earthwormjim2000 says: Sep 28, 2012 8:14 AM

    As long as we’re not playing the Texans…

  8. l6ozbud says: Sep 28, 2012 12:50 PM

    Hey scchamil, when the secondary gets healthy, the Bengals will release someone and Donald Lee will be re-signed. He will not likely get snatched up by another team—including the TE starved Patriots.

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