Atkins on IR; Bilukidi contract voided
All-Pro defensive tackle Geno Atkins officially went on the Bengals’ injured reserve list today but the Bengals are still looking for someone to take his roster spot after the NFL voided the contract of second-year player Christo Bilukidi Monday afternoon. Bilukidi, who was waived by Oakland on Oct. 23 after playing in the first five games of this season, had signed with the Bengals earlier in the day.
Bilukidi is a Canadian citizen and does not have the proper documentation to work in the United States at this time. The work permit he had enabling him to play for the Raiders did not transfer. He has to refile the proper paperwork in order to be able to sign with an NFL team.
Atkins suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during the second quarter of last Thursday’s 22-20 overtime loss at Miami. Atkins led the Bengals with six sacks this season and has become one of the NFL’s most dominant defensive players regardless of position during his four seasons. He signed a five-year contract extension prior to the start of this season.
He is the eighth player to go on IR for the Bengals this season. All eight players are from the defense, including cornerback Leon Hall.
The Bengals are down to seven defensive linemen on the roster but second-year player Devon Still has missed the last two games with an elbow injury. Still’s status for this week’s game at Baltimore is unknown. Wallace Gilberry has also been hampered with injuries. Gilberry and second-year player Brandon Thompson were expected to get the majority of the increased playing time due to Atkins’ injury. Rookie Margus Hunt’s development clock is also being sped up.
Bilukidi (6-5, 320) was a sixth-round pick of the Raiders in 2012 out of Georgia State, taken with the 189th overall choice. The Bengals selected running back Dan Herron two picks later. Bilukidi played in 13 games as rookie in a reserve role.
The Bengals also signed linebacker Bruce Taylor to the practice squad. Taylor was with the team during training camp. Taylor fills the spot left open when offensive lineman Reid Fragel signed with Cleveland’s 53-man roster.