The Cincinnati Bengals made full use of the NFL's new injury policy on Tuesday afternoon, as the team officially placed center Kyle Cook on the injured reserve with the designation to return.
Cook, a 29-year-old lineman from Michigan State, will now be eligible to come back later in the season as the Bengals' one and only injury exception for the 2012-13 season. The promising center can suit up as early as Nov. 4, 2012, if he's healthy enough, according to the new rule, and will have to fight off competition at the position from newly signed veteran Jeff Faine upon his return.
While Cook still faces a moderately lengthy rehab after suffering a serious foot injury this preseason, there's no denying how helpful this one-time rule is for a young Cincinnati offense. With plenty of uncertainty facing the team's new-look rushing attack, the ability to bring back a proven interior blocker like Cook in the second half of the year could provide important late-season depth for Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis.