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Bengals pick up former Steelers running back off waivers

Against the Bengals in 2008, Steelers running back Gary Russell gained five yards rushing on seven attempts -- including a touchdown in the Steelers 27-10 win on November 20. On Friday, the 200-plus pound running back, born in Columbus, was picked up by the Cincinnati Bengals off waivers, writes But returning kicks might be his forte in Cincinnati.

Russell averaged 22.3 yards as Pittsburgh's kick returner, a spot the Bengals are seeking to fill with wide receiver Glenn Holt's departure in free agency.

Russell was thought to be emerging into a productive big back heading into his third season in Pittsburgh. If the Bengals had been seeking Cedric Benson's backup in the draft, they may now feel they don’t have to expend a pick there with Russell in the fold. At least maybe not a high one since his strength is viewed as a zone runner that would fit into some of what the Bengals do.