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Update: Roster stays put; Schaffer, Herron, 3 draft picks on PS

Posted Sep 1, 2013

No moves were good moves Sunday for the Bengals when they kept their 53-man roster intact as the smoke of the waiver wire cleared.


Daniel Herron

Updated: 9:40 p.m.

No moves were good moves Sunday for the Bengals when they kept their 53-man roster intact as the smoke of the waiver wire cleared.

With the Bengals not getting any waiver claims, it's believed they didn't make any and preferred to go into Sunday's opener in Chicago with players that have been with them during the offseason and preseason.

Among those players that cleared waivers and were signed to the eight-man practice squad Sunday were running back Daniel Herron, the club's leading rusher in preseason, and linebacker J.K. Schaffer, its leading tackler.

Cincinnati's three draft picks that got cut also opted to sign to the practice squad: sixth-round wide receiver Cobi Hamilton of Arkansas, seventh-round tackle Reid Fragel of Ohio State and seventh-round guard-center T.J. Johnson of South Carolina.

Also signed Sunday were cornerback Chris Lewis-Harris, who was on the squad last year, and rookie cornerback Onterio McCalebb, making the move from running back at Auburn.

That gives the Bengals seven, one shy of the practice squad limit and it's believed they'll bring in some quarterbacks and wide receivers this week to work out for that spot. Various media reports have former Jets quarterback Greg McElroy headed here.

Alabama's McElroy, who played with Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton on the South team the Bengals coached against at the 2011 Senior Bowl, was waived Saturday and is going to have to be checked out medically because indications are he has a sprained MCL and is a couple of weeks away.

According to ESPN.com, his rights reverted to the Jets on their injured-reserve list when he cleared waivers, so he'll have to negotiate an injury settlement with the Jets before he signs. He's appeared in one NFL game with one start that he lost last season, completing 19 of 31 passes for 214 yards a touchdoown and an interception.

The Bengals are expected to make a move to the 53, but not until after Tuesday at 4 p.m. with wide receiver Andrew Hawkins. Hawkins, who injured his ankle Aug. 1, is a candidate for injured reserve-recall, meaning he won't count against the roster but can return for the last eight games.

Sunday's waivers suggest the Bengals don't want to bring in someone new so close to the opener, so they're probably looking at bringing a player back that was cut Saturday.

The biggest issue facing the Bengals is how to replace their best cover linebacker, Emmanuel Lamur, gone for the season with a dislocated shoulder. They apparently think they can do a better, quicker job internally with someone that's already here with four practices between now and the Bears.

Plus, anyone on the roster for the opener gets paid his year's salary.

But they'll keep looking. It's believed the Bengals are bringing in old friend Thomas Howard this week to get updated on the ACL he tore in practice 353 days ago. He plays Lamur's spot (and he was the best backer on the 2011 playoff club), but it seems to be more of a re-check and one of the many workouts the Bengals often hold on Tuesdays. If they think Howard can help, they won't do anything until next week.

Two names that were missing from the $6,000 a week practice squad list were recent draft choices, 2011 third-rounder Dontay Moch, a defensive end, and 2012 fifth-rounder Shaun Prater, a cornerback. Although neither has yet to play in an NFL game because of physical issues, the Bengals liked what they saw from them the past two preseasons.

But Prater, who looked like he was headed to be the sixth corner, didn't have a spot when the Bengals chose to keep five and got claimed on waivers. It was unclear Sunday afternoon if Moch was picked up on waivers, or if the Bengals didn't pursue him, or if he didn't pursue the Bengals.

What's clear is that his style is a better fit for a 3-4 scheme rather than the Bengals 4-3. They abandoned Moch's switch to SAM linebacker after his rookie year was lost to injuries and chronic migraines. As a defensive end he shined in leading the Bengals in sacks the past two preseasons with 3.5 and three, respectively. But the Bengals drafted SMU defensive end Margus Hunt in the second round and were full up with down linemen with nine.

 

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