The timing couldn’t be better for Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Wallace Gilberry, who gets to return to Kansas City to face his former team the week after turning his most active and productive game of the season.
Gilberry, who spent four seasons with the Chiefs from 2008-11, played a season-high 30 snaps in Sunday’s 31-13 win against the New York Giants, including a sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery all on the same play.
“There’s going to be a lot of excitement, a lot of emotions flying around getting to go back and see my old guys,” Gilberry said, who played in 55 games for the Chiefs with 65 tackles and 14 sacks, including a career-high seven in 2010.
He had just eight tackles and 2.5 sacks in 2011 before leaving to sign a free agent contract with Tampa Bay in June. The Buccaneers waived Gilberry in September, and he signed with the Bengals four days later.
“I don’t know remember what the situation was why I didn’t re-sign with them in Kansas City, nor do I care anymore,” Gilberry said. “It’s definitely water under the bridge. I wish (general manager Scott) Pioli and all those guys the best of luck, but come Sunday the Bengals want to come out on top.”
Gilberry has played in all seven games since signing with the Bengals. He has 13 tackles, including two sacks, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble.
Injured center Kyle Cook was on a side field doing rehab work Thursday during practice, working on lateral movement while engaged and other agility drills. It was the first time he has been on the field since injuring his ankle in the preseason game against Green Bay on Aug. 23.
Placed on Injured Reserve with designation for return, Cook is eligible to return to regular practice whenever he is ready. At that point a 21-day clock will begin for the Bengals to activate him to the 53-man roster or shelve him for the season.
Defensive tackle Devon Still (back) and cornerback Adam Jones (calf) returned to practice after missing Wednesday. And wide receiver Marvin Jones (knee), who has been out since the Pittsburgh game, also returned to action.
“It was great to see Marvin because he was coming along like gangbusters there before he got injured,” offensive coordinator Jay Gruden said. “ Now he’s just got to work his way back into the lineup and get a feel for all the routes and get back into shape and hopefully he’ll be ready to roll either this week or next week or the week after.”
The only player who did not practice Thursday was safety Reggie Nelson (hamstring), whose streak of 67 consecutive games played ended Sunday when he was inactive against the Giants.
Sunday’s game in Kansas City will be a family affair for Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer and his son Adam, a defensive assistant coach for the Chiefs.
“We talk. He’s my son,” the elder Zimmer said. “I’m not going to tell him anything we’re doing and he’s not going to tell me anything they’re doing. Just part of the deal. But he’s watched tape with me before, so it’s not like he doesn’t know what we do.”
This will be the third time the two have been on opposing sidelines, and Adam is undefeated in those meetings against his father. Adam’s Saints beat Mike’s Cowboys in 2006 and Mike’s Falcons in 2007, and they also prevailed against the Bengals in the 2009 preseason.