The Cincinnati Bengals got down to 75 players on their roster ahead of the 4 p.m. EST deadline on Tuesday and may not even lose one player in the process.
Needing to shave three more players off the roster, the Bengals placed put Cedric Ogbuehi on the Reserve/Non-Football Injury List, placed Sean Porter on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List and gave Onterio McCalebb the Waived/Injured designation.
That means, if McCalebb clears waivers (which he will), he'll revert to the Injured Reserve List and remain part of the Bengals' organization while not counting against their roster this year. McCalebb was a long-shot to even make the practice squad as he's been moved around from running back to cornerback to wide receiver, despite the potential to be a good kick-off returner.
Bengals roster cuts 2015: Denarius Moore released; Nico Johnson among those waived
Nico Johnson was a bit of a surprise to be cut in the first round with how well he was playing in the preseason. Though, this could be an effort to give him more time to catch on elsewhere.
As for Ogbuehi, this move was expected all along for the rookie offensive lineman out of Texas A&M. The Bengals spent the No. 21 pick in this year's NFL draft knowing they would almost certainly keep him on the NFI list, making him ineligible for the first six games at least this year, while he rehabs from a torn ACL he suffered during his team's bowl game last season. Ogbuehi will remain with the team for rehab and meetings, but may not practice for Weeks 1-6 of the regular season. Beginning in Week 7, he will begin a window of eligibility to return to practice under a roster exemption, if medically cleared.
As for Porter, this wasn't expected when training camp opened. A former fourth-round pick during the 2013 NFL draft, Porter suffered a season-ending torn labrum only days after training camp started during his rookie season. A knee injury impacted his training camp last season and forced him to miss two preseason games. A hamstring injury during the preseason finale put him on the shelf through the first three games of the season.
Porter, finally healthy, was active during Cincinnati's Sunday Night game against the New England Patriots. Cincinnati kicked off to New England and after the Patriots took a knee, Porter hobbled back to the sidelines with what was described as a "non-contact injury," and then later was determined to be a torn ACL. The fact he's still not fully recovered from it gives a grim outlook for his potential to help the Bengals, or any NFL team for that matter, in 2015.
In case you need a refresher, the NFI and PUP lists prevent players from playing and practicing during the first six weeks of the season. Players also do not count against the 53-man roster when they get this designation. If the player isn't activated after the sixth week, the team has a three-week window to make a decision: remain on PUP for the rest of the season, release the player, or activate the player. Last season we saw this happen with AJ McCarron who was activated to the team's 53-man roster after opening the regular season with this designation.