CINCINNATI -- The 2016 Cincinnati Bengals are beginning to look a lot like the 2015 team.
Another one of the Bengals' many unrestricted free agents re-signed Thursday, as defensive tackle Brandon Thompson agreed to a new deal, according to the agency that represents him. Thompson is the sixth of 14 unrestricted Bengals free agents to re-sign.
It will be interesting to see just how the Bengals anticipate using Thompson as he continues rehabbing from an ACL tear he received late in the 2015 season. If Thompson's recovery doesn't progress all that quickly this spring and summer, he could enter training camp on the Bengals' physically unable to perform list.
Thompson's return comes after the Bengals re-signed fellow tackle Pat Sims to a two-year deal. Part of an interior line rotation, Thompson and Sims alternated games in which they were active all throughout this past season. They appeared in eight games each, with Sims playing in the playoff game after Thompson tore his ACL in the regular-season finale the week before.
Thompson had eight tackles and 0.5 sacks in 2015. Sims had 16 tackles and no sacks. Although he has been a backup throughout his five-year career, Thompson played arguably his biggest role in 2013 and 2014, when he saw more consistent action.
It was during the 2014 season when he played a key role in the Bengals' rushing defense. According to ESPN Stats & Information, in games when he wasn't on the field that year, the Bengals allowed 4.6 yards per rush. In games that season when Thompson was on the field, the Bengals allowed just 3.1 yards per carry.
A former Clemson standout, Thompson was drafted in the third round in 2012. Thompson, fifth-round safety George Iloka and first-rounders Dre Kirkpatrick and Kevin Zeitler are the only players from that 10-man draft class who are still in Bengals uniforms.