- Coley Harvey, ESPN Staff Writer
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CINCINNATI -- George Iloka was a little more forthcoming Tuesday about his return from a still undisclosed injury.
While the Cincinnati Bengals safety still didn't want to discuss the mystery ailment that has had him sidelined for all of the team's offseason workout program, he said he was eyeing a return in time for training camp.
"That's the target," Iloka said.
The Bengals haven't formally announced the date for when training camp will commence, but it likely will be July 31. Iloka expects to be ready to go by that time.
For the first time all offseason, Iloka was out at practice alongside his teammates. While the rest of the Bengals opened this week's three-day mandatory minicamp, he trained off to the side, going through a series of conditioning exercises. He joined fellow injured players Margus Hunt, Sean Porter and Cedric Ogbuehi in the rehab area. The uninjured Devon Still, practicing for the first time after spending the offseason taking care of his 5-year-old daughter Leah, joined them, too.
A fourth-year defensive back, Iloka had career-highs in tackles (74) and interceptions (three) last season. He also was credited by Pro Football Focus with having the highest percentage of snaps in coverage per reception of any safety in the league. PFF also said the 18.4 QB rating Iloka allowed was an NFL-best among safeties.
One of nearly 30 Bengals eligible for free agency next offseason, Iloka hopes he gets a new contract before the start of this season. While he has arguably earned a new deal for this summer, Iloka said he wouldn't be disappointed if he had to wait until March before getting a new contract.
"It's how this sport goes, how this business goes. Any player would like to have their contract done sooner than later," Iloka said. "But that's for my agent and the Bengals to decide if they want to get something done before the season.
"For me, it's just rehabbing and getting back healthy. I'll be back this whole summer with these guys and getting right and putting on a show this year."