The Bengals are without starting right tackle Andre Smith for the rest of the year after he tore triceps in Week 12. His replacement, Marshall Newhouse, has been less than stellar in his absence, and Cincinnati appears ready to bring in another option.
The Bengals have announced the signing of former Texans offensive tackle Eric Winston.
Winston entered the NFL in 2006 as a third-round draft choice by Houston. He has 124 NFL career games played, with 119 starts. His Arizona contract expired after the 2013 season, and his most recent NFL assignment was in the 2014 preseason with Seattle, who released him on Aug. 30.
This gives the Bengals another true backup tackle behind both Newhouse and Andrew Whitworth at left tackle.
Who dey! who dey! who dey think goin to beat them Bengals!?!?!— Eric Winston (@ericwinston) December 2, 2014
Winston is an 8-year pro who spent last year with the Arizona Cardinals before signing with the Seattle Seahawks this offseason. He was later cut during the final 53-man roster cutdown. He spent the first six years of his career in Houston, where he was one of the best right tackles in football. However, with Arizona last year, Winston had a -21.1 overall Pro Football Focus score, if you take stock in stats like that.
Winston PFF grade in 2013: -21.1 overall, -13.3 pass, -4.7 run. Far better grades in years before '13.— Josh Kirkendall (@Josh_Kirkendall) December 2, 2014
Interestingly enough, Winston had a bit of an issue with some of Marvin Lewis' statements a couple of months back on the issue of concussions. The grizzled veteran tackle has been the NFLPA President, so his hard stance on some of Lewis' statements came with the territory.
To make room for Winston, the Bengals waived offensive tackle Jamon Meredith, a sixth-year player from South Carolina. Meredith signed last week with the Bengals as a free agent and was inactive for this past Sunday’s game at Tampa Bay.
The Bengals also waived LB J.K. Schaffer from the Reserve/Injured list. Schaffer, a second-year player from the University of Cincinnati, has completed rehab from concussions that led to his placement on Reserve/Injured this past Aug. 27. A Cincinnati native (La Salle HS), Schaffer played in nine games for the Bengals in 2013.