Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle D.J. Reader was recently designated to return from injured reserve, the first good sign for the team after the bye.
Reader has been sidelined since Week 3 due to a knee injury suffered against the New York Jets, and his timely recovery comes at a very opportune time.
With the designation, Reader is cleared to participate in practice on Monday and will have 21 days to rejoin the 53-man roster.
The elite defensive tackle poses as one of the most important leaders in the Bengals defense; so far this season, Reader has recorded 10 tackles, three quarterback hits, and a fumble recovery.
Bengals should be excited about D.J. Reader's impending return
Cincy's defense as a whole took hard hits in recent weeks with a number of defensive stars suffering serious injuries. Mike Hilton recently underwent finger surgery and is racing against the clock to play in Week 11, and highly touted rookie Dax Hill is considered week-to-week after injuring his shoulder.
Despite his extended absence, Reader should quickly re-earn a starting spot in the interior defense as long as his recovery continues to go well.
The Bengals' first opponent after the bye is the Pittsburgh Steelers, who are notoriously considered one of the worst-performing offensive squads in the league in 2022.
Cincinnati shouldn't need Reader for Week 11's upcoming matchup, yet the sooner Reader returns to game action, the better.