Josh Tupou fill-in candidates for the Bengals: Timmy Jernigan
The youngest of the available options, Timmy Jernigan is a veteran defensive lineman who has spent three seasons with the Baltimore Ravens and three with the Philadelphia Eagles. Although he originally agreed to a deal with the Houston Texans this offseason, that contract fell through and he is still available.
During his time in the NFL, Jernigan has never had an overall PFF grade of below 60.0. With such a consistent start to his career, lining up next to Atkins and Reader may be the opportunity he needs to take the next step. With Atkins’ play declining in recent seasons, a steady player like Jernigan could be just the rotational piece needed to help the future Hall of Famer return to form.
With 17.5 sacks throughout his 71 game, 51 start career, Jernigan can be a more productive pass rusher than the previously mentioned free agent Harrison. He’s no slouch in the run game either, though, where he had a 73.4 PFF run-defense grade in 2019.
If the Bengals want a young guy who can do a little bit of everything, Jernigan could be the answer. Still relatively young, the 6-year veteran could find a spot for himself on the Cincinnati roster for years to come.