Injuries during the preseason are nothing new for Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Brandon Ghee, but quick bounce backs are.
Ghee suffered a concussion in the Aug. 8 preseason opener in Atlanta, a game in which he had a key interception late in the first half. But Ghee returned to the practice field for light duty Wednesday and was back to full participation Thursday.
“It’s frustrating, but it is what it is,” Ghee said. “I’m glad I’m back now and it’s over with. A slight concussion, I’ll take that over an IR any day.”
Ghee suffered a hit to the head that knocked him out in preseason finale his rookie year in 2010, forcing him to miss the first two weeks of the regular season. The following year he battled injuries early in camp and missed the first two preseason games. And last year he dislocated his wrist prior to the first preseason game and ended up on season-ending IR.
“Yeah, there’s been a lot of ups and downs,’ Ghee said. “I’ve been cut. I got back on the active roster. A lot of things happened. But I’ve matured a lot and I know what it takes.”
There are 10 cornerbacks on the roster, and it is expected that six of them will make the team. Terence Newman, Leon Hall, Adam Jones and Dre Kirkpatrick would seem to be locks, which means Ghee is battling the other five – Terrence Brown, Chris Lewis-Harris, Onterio McCalebb, Shaun Prater and Troy Stoudermire – for two spots.
“I’ve been there before,” Ghee said. “I’ve been cut before. I’ve been through the worst. As long as I play good and they need me, then they’re going to keep me. If I don’t play well enough, then I get cut and move on. It’s just the way it is. It’s all about production, and I’m going to make sure I produce.”
Because Ghee has not played in nine games in any of his seasons, he still is eligible for the practice squad.
Rookie offensive lineman Travis Hawkinson, a fifth-round pick, was getting around with the walking boot he was fitted with Aug. 8 after injuring his knee in the preseason opener at Atlanta.
“It’s getting better by day by day,” Hawkinson said. “I’m just seeing how it reacts to treatment and hopefully I’ll be out there as soon as I can.”
Hawkinson gives the Bengals extra depth on the offensive line as has seen action at both guard and tackle during training camp.
In other injury news, starting safety George Iloka (wrist) missed practice Thursday, as did defensive end Michael Johnson (undisclosed).
Fullback John Conner (foot) returned to full participation after being limited Wednesday.
The Cincinnati Bengals will play host to the Tennessee Titans on Saturday, marking the first time the teams have met in the preseason since 2003 despite being located just 272 miles apart.
That game, which was played in Cincinnati with the Titans prevailing 23-15, stands as the only preseason meeting ever between the franchises, although there was a good reason for that as the Titans played in Houston as the Oilers from 1968-1997, and they were division rivals with the Bengals from 1968-2001.