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Bengals sign former Alabama star Nico Johnson off Chiefs practice squad

Cincinnati has added another linebacker to their roster.

Matthew Stockman

The Bengals were going to add another linebacker to their roster once Rey Maualuga was injured Sunday, as well as after waiving Khairi Fortt from the 53-man roster.

Instead of signing a street free agent though, they're signing Nico Johnson off the Kansas city Chiefs practice squad.

Drafted with the 99th-overall pick of the 2013 NFL draft, Johnson (6-2, 249; Alabama) is a second-year NFL player. He was a fourth-round draft choice by Kansas City in 2013 and was on the roster all season, playing in seven games with one start (seven tackles). He played in all four Chiefs 2014 preseason games, with 15 tackles and three special teams tackles. He was waived on Aug. 30 and signed Sept. 1 to the Chiefs practice squad.

Here's an excerpt of the draft profile from on Johnson:


Assignment-sure pounder between the tackles who plays with attitude. Usually responsible for taking on fullback and lineman blocks in the middle to free up teammates, but can use his hands to hold them off (when not sliding under) and shed to make plays. Shows enough speed to test guards’ quickness on blitzes.

WEAKNESSES Lunch-pail player who hasn’t yet shown great playmaking ability. Lacks straight-line speed to recover once behind a step in coverage or juked at the line of scrimmage, will also struggle to get angle on backs before they turn upfield at the next level.