Cincinnati Bengals rookie linebacker Brandon Joiner reverted to the Bengals’ Reserve/Injured list last week after clearing waivers. Joiner, from Arkansas State, was released in the Waived/Injured category last Tuesday after suffering a major knee injury that was seen vividly on the latest episode of HBO’s Hard Knocks.
If there is to be another Bengal who goes through a redemption story in the same manner Vontaze Burfict, Adam Jones, Cedric Benson, Reggie Nelson and other Bengals players have done over during the tenure of Marvin Lewis, it may be that of Joiner, who had been reinstated to the Bengals this offseason.
His journey to the NFL began shortly after the undrafted rookie linebacker signed with the Bengals in May of 2012, he was sentenced to three years in prison as a result of his involvement in 2007 robbery and felony drug charges he committed as an 18-year-old freshman at Texas A&M.
Even while Joiner was in prison, the Bengals showed support and a willingness to help him rehabilitate his image and his life one he was released:
During his time in a Texas prison outside Dallas, Joiner got letters and phone messages of encouragement from linebackers coach Paul Guenther.
At the time of his sentencing, the Bengals said Joiner’s “positive actions during the past five years, including significant community service work, graduation from Arkansas State University and an unblemished subsequent behavior record” factored into their decision to support Joiner’s opportunity to compete for a roster spot once he was released.
“The support made the time go by faster,” he said. “It’s a spiritual, mental and physical drain. You have a lot of time to think about your life and where you’re headed. Along the same time of it being a curse it was a blessing and now I have a great opportunity. When something is taken from you, you go get it and don’t look back.”