George Iloka expected to miss about a month

Getty Images

Bengals safety George Iloka needed help to get off the field after hurting his knee on a non-contact play over the weekend, but he reportedly avoided an injury that will put his 2017 season at risk.

Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Iloka had an MRI to assess the damage to his knee and the test found that he avoided the kind of torn ligaments that would leave him on the shelf into the regular season. Iloka was diagnosed with a knee sprain and is expected to miss 3-4 weeks while he recovers.

The Bengals play their final preseason game against the Colts on August 31, so Iloka may not get any action during the exhibition season as a result of the knee issue. Given his experience in the Bengals defense — Iloka has started 60 games over the last four seasons — that probably won’t be a major problem in terms of getting ready for the season.

While Iloka looks good for the regular season, the team may need some safety help in the short term. Safety Derron Smith was also banged up during Sunday’s practice, which leaves the team a little thin at the back end of the defense for practice purposes.