David Jones has all but returned. He's no longer appearing on injury reports [UPDATE: Actually Jones did appear on the injury report, but only because of the injury he has been dealing with. He did fully practice on Wednesday and Thursday] and you can assume he'll be seeing his first action this Sunday against the Ravens since injuring his foot early in Training Camp. As a result, the Bengals decided to waive cornerback Geoffrey Pope and sign our boy, linebacker Dan "Stuka" Skuta off the team's practice squad. As Joe Reedy observes, Skuta is the third college free agent on the roster this year, behind Tom Nelson and Quan Cosby. Rey Maualuga is still recovering from his knee injury against the Steelers -- even though played against the Browns -- and Rashad Jeanty hurt his finger against the Browns which may have convinced the team to add a seventh linebacker.
Reedy also observes that the move opens the "possibility that they may try to sign a long snapper and assign him to the practice squad." The reasoning is to a long snapper on the practice squad to work with the special teams. When or if the team elects to release Brad St. Louis, they'll already have a guy ready. I know what some of you are thinking. How hard is it to long snap? The topic was raised on Bengals.com and Geoff Hobson wrote:
This is classic Catch-22. Simmons said it’s a fine line because if the team makes a move, the specialists have to start from scratch with the timing of the operation. But the other side is, how can you continue to put the team in jeopardy if you don’t make a move?
“Any time you can get a guy on the practice squad that makes sense. You get to work with them. I don’t care what position it is before you throw somebody to the wolves,” Simmons said. “That’s definitely something that goes into it. If you make a change, it takes time to develop trust in one another.”
Regardless how that all works out. The Bengals have Stuka!