Backups: Akeem Davis-Gaither and Markus Bailey
Behind Wilson and Pratt are Akeem Davis-Gaither and Markus Bailey, two guys who really played well in 2021.
Davis-Gaither is a former fourth-round pick out of Appalachian State who played in all 16 games as a rookie. During that time he had 31 tackles and two hits on the quarterback. This past year, Davis-Gaither appeared in nine games but looked like a better player than his rookie year even if the stats don’t say so. He recorded three less tackles but looked much more comfortable out there.
Bailey was a seventh-round pick by the team in 2020 out of Purdue. He might have gone earlier in the draft but injuries decimated his collegiate career and that’s why Cincinnati was able to grab him so late in the 2020 draft.
Bailey appeared in all but one regular-season game this year and finished his second season with 38 tackles, three defended passes, one QB hit, and 0.5 sack. He’s entering the third year of his pro career and looked the part of a solid backup linebacker last year.