Nick Williams cleared

10-30-01, 11:50 a.m.

Updated: 10-30-01, 9:30 p.m.

BY GEOFF HOBSON

Bengals fullback Nick Williams has been cleared medically, but he won't begin practicing immediately.

Williams, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee on the second day of May minicamp, got the go-ahead in Monday's exam by Dr. James Andrews. Andrews did the reconstructive surgery a little more than five months ago.

The Bengals, who put Williams, on the physically unable to play list (PUP) have three weeks to decide what to do with him once he begins practicing. They have to put him on the 53-man roster, or put him on season-ending injured reserve, or release him.

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KAESVIHARN SIGNS:** The Bengals have survived the roster moves they were forced to make now that cornerbacks Robert Bean (hamstring) and Tom Carter (knee) are probable for the Nov. 11 game in Jacksonville. A day after waiving rookie corner Kevin Kaesviharn in order to re-sign rookie linebacker Riall Johnson back to the active 53-man roster, Kaesviharn cleared waivers and the Bengals re-signed him Wednesday back to the practice squad.

Bean and Carter couldn't play in Sunday's 31-27 victory in Detroit, leaving the Bengals with only three healthy cornerbacks in starters Artrell

Hawkins and Mark Roman and a rookie nickel back playing in his second NFL game in Bo Jennings. After signing Kaesviharn to the practice squad only last Tuesday, the Bengals activated the veteran of Arena ball and the XFL Saturday as the fourth corner. Although he didn't take a snap at scrimmage, he made one special teams tackle.

Johnson, the club's sixth-round pick from Stanford, cleared waivers Monday and returns to special teams duty. The Bengals could gamble releasing a linebacker in favor of a corner because they have another rookie backer, Chris Edmonds, on the practice squad. With the Redskins taking tackle Alex Sulfsted and defensive tackle Jeff Boyle gone with season-ending knee surgery, the Bengals have two slots open on the practice squad to go with Edmonds, wide receiver Malcolm Johnson, and tight end Kirk McMullen.

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