Cincinnati is one of eight teams to carry an additional overseas player on their offseason roster as part of the International Player Pathway program.
Moritz Böhringer (6-4, 227), a first-year player, has been added to the Bengals’ roster.
In 2016, Böhringer became the first player to be drafted by an NFL team directly from Europe, when he was selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the sixth round. He spent the entire 2016 season on the Vikings’ practice squad, and he was later waived on final cuts prior to the ’17 season. He was not with an NFL team during the ’17 regular season.
Böhringer is from Aalen, Germany and majored in mechanical engineering at University Aalen. He started playing competitive American football in 2013. He played wide receiver for the Vikings, but the Bengals list him at tight end. He does not count toward the team’s 90-player limit.
The International Player Pathway program, instituted in 2017, aims to provide international athletes the opportunity to compete at the NFL level, improve their skills, and ultimately earn a spot on an NFL roster.
Participants in the 2017 program included Alex Gray (Atlanta Falcons), Alex Jenkins (New Orleans Saints), Eric Nzeocha (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and Efe Obada (Carolina Panthers), and each will return to their NFC South teams for the upcoming season.
An additional four teams -- the AFC North -- will carry an overseas player on their roster until the end of the 2018 training camp. At that time, if they do not make the 53-player roster, they would be eligible for the international player practice squad exemption.
The Bengals, Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers will each be given an exemption for an eleventh practice squad member who will be ineligible to be activated during the season. The AFC North was chosen to receive the international players in a random draw.
The players include Böhringer with the Bengals, German Football League player Christopher Ezeala (Ravens), former British American Football League player Tigie Sankoh (Browns) and former English professional rugby player Christian Scotland-Williamson (Steelers).
For the past three months, the players have been training alongside NFL players and draft hopefuls in Florida, under the supervision of former NFLUK head of football Aden Durde, who was hired as the Atlanta Falcons defensive quality control coach after this season’s program, along with IMG Academy coaches including running back coach Earnest Byner, offensive line coach Paul Dunn, defensive back coach Donnie Henderson and wide receiver coach Larry Kirksey.