Oakcrest High School graduate Brandon Bell may make his NFL debut Sunday.

The Cincinnati Bengals announced Friday they have signed the 2012 and 2013 first-team Press All-Star to their practice squad after placing linebacker Kevin Minter on season-ending injured reserve. Minter had been battling a hamstring injury suffered in Week 14.

Bell, also a linebacker, will be on the plane with his team Saturday as they fly to Minneapolis to face the Vikings at 1 p.m. Sunday.

He said in a phone interview Friday night that he found out about the promotion from the coaches after practice Friday.

"Nothing is guaranteed. Hopefully I'll do well enough (to stay with the team the rest of the season)," he said. "I'm just worried about this upcoming game and be prepared to do what I need to do."

Bell originally was signed by Cincinnati before training camp as an unrestricted free agent out of Penn State. He was released just before the final round of cuts.

The Bengals then signed him to their practice squad, where Bell has spent the past 13 weeks.

"It wasn't the easiest thing for me," Bell said about being on the practice squad. "But nobody makes it to the NFL without challenges. I accepted my role. I tried to prepare like I would get that call and stay ready and learn the system and do the best I could to help the team win each week."

He said the coaches didn't talk to him about playing time Sunday, but he hopes to at least see time on special teams.

The 6-foot-1, 229-pounder had nine tackles and a sack during the preseason for the Bengals. Last year as a senior for Penn State, Bell had 88 tackles, including 7.5 for a loss and four sacks, despite missing four games due to injury. He also had two interceptions and three forced fumbles.

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Contact: 609-272-7179 MMelhorn@pressofac.com Twitter @ACPressSports

Production Director

Started at The Press in 1993 as an Ocean County reporter. Moved to the copy desk in 1994 until taking over as editor of At The Shore in 1995. Became deputy sports editor in 2004 and was promoted to sports editor in 2007.

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