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Breaking Down The Cincinnati Bengals 53-Man Roster

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With the 53-man roster now (at least temporarily) set, we wanted to quickly take a look at aaahow our locks panned out. We always hope for perfection (of course), but it's unrealistic due to reasons like suspensions and injuries that we're just not made aware of. How well did we do and how does the 53-man roster breakdown?

Quarterbacks: Nailed It. Reports that the Bengals could only keep two quarterbacks made it easy because it wasn't too terribly hard whom the Bengals would keep. Dan LeFevour is a practice squad candidate and could be signed as the team's third quarterback in case injury hurts the position between Andy Dalton and Bruce Gradkowski. That is, of course, god forbid Carson Palmer doesn't show up.

Running Backs: Nailed It. We weren't sure if the Bengals would keep four or five running backs, along with Chris Pressley as a fullback. Based on two factors, we choose five (including Pressley). One being the team's decision to resume a rushing identity and the second beind possible discipline from the league based on the results of his trial last week in which he was sentenced to 20 days in jail.

Assuming that the team doesn't use Cedric Peerman's spot on the roster to make room for acquisitions through free agency and the waiver wire, it's doubtful that they'll have a running back on the practice squad with already five on the roster. Though if they do, Jay Finley would be a strong candidate.

Offensive Line: Missed It. We were right that Max Jean-Gilles would be released and backup center Reggie Stephens would make it. However we didn't expect that Bobbie Williams would serve a four-game suspension that forced the Bengals to keep another guard -- in this case, Williams' protege and backup right guard, Otis Hudson.

The Bengals really liked offensive tackle Matthew O'Donnell -- an undrafted free agent signing. O'Donnell is a likely candidate to return on the team's practice squad.

Wide Receivers: Nailed It. Ryan Whalen won the job really against the Colts, showing that he's capable of playing special teams as well as in this offense. And really, with Jerome Simpson and Andre Caldwell entering their final seasons under contract, Whalen may be a backup plan in case neither return.

Andrew Hawkins, who impressed a lot of people on special teams, is a strong candidate to return on the team's practice squad if he clears waivers.

Tight Ends: Nailed It. All depended on Bo Scaife's injury. He went on Injured Reserve this weekend, assuring that Chase Coffman and Colin Cochart made the squad behind Jermaine Gresham.

Defensive Line: Nailed It. Many were incensed by our choice to keep only three defensive tackles by dropping Jason Shirley in favor of five defensive ends -- two of whom (Frostee Rucker, Jonathan Fanene) play defensive tackle during passing downs anyway.

Shirley remains eligible for the team's practice squad and the Bengals have shown enough desire to keep him around over the past three years that he could return again.

Linebackers: Nailed It. Dontay Moch can't go on Reserve/Physically Unable To Perform because he already practiced during training camp. With a broken foot and a return as soon as the fourth week of the regular season, the Bengals needed someone to replace him early. That opened the door for Vincent Rey.

Once Keith Rivers is off the Non-Football Injury list (similar to Reserve/PUP list), Rey appears to be the first man out. DeQuin Evans, who was waived earlier this weekend, is expected to join the practice squad once he clears waivers.

Secondary: Missed It. We had the team keeping six cornerbacks (Jonathan Wade, Rico Murray) and only four safeties. The Bengals did the opposite, keeping Jeromy Miles and Gibril Wilson. There's a good chance that the Bengals are keeping someone like Jeromy Miles to release him if they find players through free agency or waivers.

Special Teams: Nailed It. We had this one charted in May, with Mike Nugent as the team's place kicker, Kevin Huber punting and Clark Harris snapping.