Bengals Roster, Practice Squad: Five Reactions
Jan 4, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Margus Hunt (99) against the Indianapolis Colts during the 2014 AFC Wild Card playoff football game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
3. Margus Hunt Makes the Team
I really started to believe that Margus Hunt was going to be a roster casualty when the team took defensive lineman Marcus Hardison in the fourth round. When Hunt suffered an injury that limited his participation in training camp, I thought his fate was sealed.
Hunt, however, proved me wrong. Just like in 2014, Hunt dominated in his last two preseason games, showing an intriguing combination of size, power and endurance to continually disrupt opposing quarterbacks and clog running lanes. Hunt still lacks some football instincts at times, but I have to say that he looks like a better pass-rusher than second-year player Will Clarke.
4. Lack of Tight End Depth
I understand that you can’t be four deep at every position, but the tight end spot has me a little concerned. Tyler Eifert looks like a good number one, but there isn’t much behind him. We all know that Eifert has some durability issues, and behind him, all the Bengals have are the two rookies they selected in the 2015 draft.
To make matters worse, both Tyler Kroft and C.J. Uzomah had up-and-down camps, suggesting that they could be inconsistent if cast into the starting lineup. Part of me is excited to see Cincinnati’s confidence in its ability to draft quality players, but if Eifert is to miss any games, tight end could be a problem. Ryan Hewitt could fill in at tight end, but the Bengals would have to then decide whether to bring in a fullback or limit their use of plays that require Hewitt to line up in the backfield.
In case of injury, there are a couple of veterans out there that could come in and provide some insurance: Dante Rosario, John Phillips and former Bengal Alex Smith. Teams typically make these veteran acquisitions in Week 2 because they don’t have to guarantee contracts at that point, so this could be a move Cincinnati is waiting to make.
5. Practice Squad, Check
The Bengals released their practice squad on Saturday. Here it is:
1. RB Terrell Watson
2. RB James Wilder Jr.
3. T/G Dan France
4. WR Jake Kumerow
5. QB Keith Wenning
6. DT DeShawn Williams
7. LB Trevor Roach
8. CB Troy Hill
9. TE Matt Lengel
10.G Trey Hopkins
Bengals.com editor Geoff Hobson pointed out that “if the Bengals saw something they liked on the waiver wire Sunday, another team beat them to it because they made no changes to the roster they cut down to 53 players on Saturday.” You can read the rest of Hobson’s observations here.
Although Cincinnati may have potentially missed out on another team’s gem (that is, if Cincinnati even wanted to bring in someone from another team), it will benefit from having a practice squad that spent all of training camp in Cincinnati. These players already have knowledge of the offensive and defensive systems, and they could fill in if the Bengals were ever in serious trouble. Finally, Bengals fans will be excited to know that DeShawn Williams cleared waivers and is on Cincinnati’s practice squad.