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DeShawn Williams and Jake Kumerow want to return to Bengals

The Cincinnati Bengals reduced their roster to 53 players on Saturday, which included the release of DeShawn Williams and Jake Kumerow. If both players clear waivers, they want to return to Cincinnati. The team can begin to sign players to their practice squad tomorrow afternoon.

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Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time in five seasons, Cincinnati won't enter the regular season with a college free agent rookie on their 53-man roster (at least not as of now). They could have, with defensive tackle DeShawn Williams tearing up second and third team rosters before receiving limited playing time against Chicago (only five snaps). In the preseason finale, he offered up a vanilla performance against the Colts (only one sack, man).

Wide receiver Jake Kumerow, coming into Cincinnati with an impressive Division III pedigree from Wisconsin-Whitewater, enjoyed relative success as a developing big-bodied player who might one day offer contributions in the redzone.

Unfortunately, the numbers didn't work out.

Cincinnati waived both players on Saturday afternoon to reach the mandated 53-man maximum.

Williams was stuffed behind veterans Geno Atkins, Domata Peko and Brandon Thompson, along with the recently-arrived Pat Sims and Marcus Hardison, all of whom offer unique differences. Atkins and Hardison figure as pass rushers, with interior help from Wallace Gilberry and Margus Hunt (like he did during the preseason), with Peko, Thompson and Sims offering run-first mentalities.

Kumerow played 72 snaps, fourth-most on the team's preseason roster, posting six receptions for 65 yards receiving. Bengals quarterbacks secured a 98.4 passer rating when throwing to Kumerow. Unfortunately, he became the seventh man on a roster with six receivers, including Greg Little and Brandon Tate, each of whom had equally productive performances in training camp and the preseason.

The next step now for Cincinnati is developing their practice squad and according to the Cincinnati Enquirer, Kumerow and Williams want to return to Cincinnati, who similarly want them back.

Both players, if they clear waivers, which expires at noon on Sunday, are projected on the team's practice squad this year. However, Cincinnati won't be able to develop their practice squad until after receiving a personnel letter from league offices around 1 p.m. EST on Sunday. When that happens, it's being reported that Dan France, provided he clears waivers, will join the team's practice squad, too.