A new quarterback is expected to join the Cincinnati Bengals' 53-man roster, and another one could be joining the practice squad soon thereafter.
Keith Wenning is expected to be promoted to from the practice squad this week, possibly today. Now, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network is reporting that free agent quarterback Phillip Sims is a candidate to fill Wenning's spot on the practice squad.
#Bengals plan to promote practice squad QB Keith Wenning to the active roster & sign Philip Sims to the practice squad if he works out well— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 16, 2015
Sims, who entered the NFL in 2015 as an undrafted free agent out of Winston-Salem State, has familiarity with new Bengals starting quarterback AJ McCarron. Back in 2010. Sims signed with the Crimson Tide as one of the nation's top recruits. After redshirting in 2010, Sims competed with McCarron for the starting quarterback job in 2011, but lost the battle and became the backup for the entire season.
In 2012, Sims transferred to Virginia and was granted a waiver by the NCAA to play immediately due to his father’s health situation. He went on to play in 12 games (four starts) in his only season with the Cavaliers while completing 114 of 203 passes for 1,263 yards, nine scores and four interceptions.
Then in 2013, Sims would transfer again to Winston-Salem State in 2013 after being ruled academically ineligible at Virginia. He would play in all 11 games at Winston-Salem State in 2014 and completed 118 of 198 passes for 1,560 yards and 15 touchdowns vs four interceptions.
After going undrafted following the 2015 NFL Draft, Sims signed with the Arizona Cardinals and had a promising preseason with them. He did enough that Arizona made him the starting quarterback vs the Denver Broncos in the team's preseason finale, where he completed 14 of 22 passes for 101 yards and one touchdown. He finished the preseason 28-of-51 passing (54.9 percent) for 261 yards (5.1 yards per attempt) with three touchdowns.
While Sims may not have actual NFL experience, he's probably one of the best quarterbacks on the market that actually has practice squad eligibility. That's why the Bengals may sign him over a veteran like Christian Ponder, who could only join the Bengals by occupying a 53-man roster spot.