The Bengals have finally filled the vacant spot on their practice squad, which has been open for weeks following the Patriots signing tight end Matt Lengel to their 53-man roster.
The spot now belongs to rookie cornerback Tony McRae who spent the summer with the Bengals before making the practice squad when it was first constructed. But, McRae didn’t last long on the Bengals’ initial practice squad roster as he was released on September 16, just days after the practice squad was originally formed. His release from the practice squad made room for Trey Hopkins, who remains with the team in that capacity. Hopkins originally made the 53-man roster when the Bengals were dealing with injuries to second year tackles Jake Fisher and Cedric Ogbuehi.
McRae was originally signed by the Bengals as a rookie free agent in August (about 10 days after the start of training camp). The former North Carolina A&T product went undrafted in the 2016 NFL Draft.
McRae played well in the preseason for the Bengals, recording 8 tackles in four games, but didn’t do enough to edge out Chykie Brown, who grabbed the last cornerback spot on the team’s roster. Brown was just placed on Injured Reserve on Monday, signaling the Bengals’ need for a cornerback on the practice squad, in case of emergency. The Bengals do not have any other defensive backs on the practice squad.
During his time in college, McRae was one of the top cornerbacks in the MEAC and a top special teams player, too. If he makes it up to the Bengals’ 53-man roster at any point this year, it would likely be for his special teams ability. At NC A&T McRae earned first-team All-MEAC as a defensive back and second-team all-conference as a return specialist.
Here’s the Bengals’ current practice squad:
|76||Brown, Ryan||DE||22||R||Mississippi State|
|39||Carson, Tra||RB||24||R||Texas A&M|
|47||Dawson, P.J.||LB||23||2||Texas Christian|
|McRae, Tony||CB||23||R||North Carolina A&T|