The Cincinnati Bengals may not want to go through the same scenario they faced late last season when Kevin Huber went down. After losing their punter to a fractured jaw, they had to rotate between Zoltan Mesko and Shawn Powell over the final month of the season.
They've reached an agreement with former New York Jets and Cleveland Browns punter T.J. Conley, which will give them security this offseason and into training camp in the event Huber isn't ready or incurs another injury.
Conley (6-3; 215; Idaho) punted in 16 games for the Jets in 2011. He averaged 42.7 yards on 92 punts, and his 38.8-yard net average was the highest in Jets history (stat began in 1976). He had 32 inside-20 kicks with just six touchbacks, and his plus-26 differential on inside-20s to touchbacks ranked tied for third in the NFL.
Conley did not play in the 2012 or 2013 regular seasons. He was with the Jets in the 2012 preseason and with Cleveland in the 2013 preseason. He entered the NFL as a free agent with the Jets in 2009 but did not play in ’09 or ’10.
Assuming Huber is ready for the start of the regular season, Conley will likely be waived prior to final roster cuts, but having had him on the roster already, he may be the first man the Bengals call id Huber were to sustain another injury this coming season.