The Cincinnati Bengals placed SS Roy Williams on injured reserve today, ending his 2009 season. Williams had been battling a bruise to the same forearm he broke in Dallas last year, and he fractured the bone again this week in practice. Head coach Marvin Lewis voiced strong support for Williams, whom he would like to have back next year. Williams signed a one-year deal with the Bengals this past offseason after getting cut by the Cowboys.
Replacing Williams on the roster is WR Maurice Purify. Ironically, Purify and Williams have something of a history: Maurice pwned Roy in the Oklahoma Drill during HBO’s Hard Knocks.
Purify brings more to the table than last year’s second-round pick Jerome Simpson in terms of blocking ability and special teams play. The latter was doubtless a factor as LB Brandon Johnson will apparently be needed in a starting role with LB Keith Rivers reportedly gone this week. Johnson should be solid in relief: he started eight games last season after Pittsburgh WR Hines Ward broke Rivers’ jaw, recording 32 tackles and 1.5 sacks.
Purify, who played high school ball with Rey Maualuga, was picked up by the Bengals in 2008 after a DUI led to the former Nebraska standout falling out of the draft. His physicality will be in high demand against Pittsburgh.
“Mo” sat down Wednesday to discuss his role in Cincinnati.
Thompson: When you were at Nebraska, you finished second all-time with 16 touchdowns. You were a playmaker who finished high on their list in total catches with 91. Talk a little bit about what you bring to the NFL as a receiver.
Purify: I’m pretty much possession receiver. I get behind the defense every once in a while, and I’m a guy who gives his team a first-and-ten. I’ll do all the dirty work–I like to block, I like to run down there on special teams. I’ll do anything.
With Williams’ move to IR, the Bengals now have a total of eight players on the IR list, including five starters/major contributors in Williams, Reggie Kelly, Ben Utecht, Chris Henry and Antwan Odom. It’s a testament to their depth that all the damage has yet to slow them on the field.