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Bengals sign two practice squad players to 53-man roster

Two additional practice squad players are being called up to the 53-man roster for the Bengals’ final game of the 2016 NFL season.

NFL: Preseason-Indianapolis Colts at Cincinnati Bengals Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals are promoting wide receiver Jake Kumerow and linebacker Trevor Roach from the team’s practice squad to the active 53-man roster.

This comes after the Bengals placed tight end Tyler Eifert and left guard Clint Boling on Injured Reserve on Monday, ending their season one game early. Neither of that duo played on Saturday in Houston either.

Kumerow, who is in his second year with the Bengals, was vying for a spot on the final roster heading into the start of the season. However, the emergence of Cody Core, Tyler Boyd and Alex Erickson helped prevent Kumerow from ever getting significant reps in training camp and the preseason, and he was cut before final roster cuts. He was then signed to the practice squad, where he’s remained all season.

Kumerow also dealt with a nagging hamstring injury for much of training camp and the preseason, which hurt his chances of making the roster. Kumerow has had a difficult path to the NFL after being lightly recruited out of high school. He ultimately walked on at Illinois. After a redshirt year, he played one game in his second season with the Fighting Illini, catching three balls for 15 yards. Kumerow then transferred to Wisconsin-Whitewater, where he played out his final three seasons of eligibility and emerged as an intriguing pass catcher. The Bengals signed him as an undrafted free agent following the 2015 NFL Draft. He’ll now get a chance to be active for his first NFL game after spending the last two seasons on the practice squad. During the 2016 preseason games, Kumerow caught four passes for 67 yards.

As for Roach, he did make the Bengals’ initial 53-man roster this season, but was waived when Vontaze Burfict returned from his three game suspension. Roach, like Kumerow, spent 2015 on the Bengals’ practice squad. He was active and played in last January’s Wild Card loss after Emmanuel Lamur was injured in the final game of the 2015 NFL season. Roach originally joined the team after being signed as an undrafted free agent out of Nebraska in 2015. In three games played this season, Roach recorded 1 special teams tackle. He played in two 2016 preseason games, with 13 tackles, 11 of which came in the final preseason game.

This news follows linebacker P.J. Dawson getting added to the 53-man roster from the practice squad last week, ahead of the game in Houston. He didn’t play on defense, but did record a special teams tackle against the Texans.

It’s unlikely either Kumerow or Roach will see much of the field on Sunday against the Ravens, but it is possible. It would be nice to see them make an impact in the final game of the season after spending all of the season for Kumerow and most of the season for Roach on the practice squad.