As expected, wide receiver Jake Kumerow did not make the Bengals' final roster. According to ESPN reporter Katherine Terrell, Kumerow is among the players Cincinnati is parting with as final roster cuts are made.
Kumerow, who is in his second year with the Bengals, was vying for a spot on the final roster at a position that looked like a big question mark going into training camp. However, the emergence of Cody Core, Tyler Boyd and Alex Erickson helped prevent Kumerow from ever getting significant reps in camp and the preseason, until the final preseason game.
Kumerow was also plagued with a hamstring injury that cost him much of camp, which led to him getting limited reps in preseason games. He did have a big game in the fourth preseason game vs the Colts, catching three passes for 60 yards. It wasn't enough to earn him a spot on the final roster, but it further cemented his chances to make the practice squad if another team does not claim him. The Bengals can announce their practice squad after 1:00 p.m. ET on Sunday. Kumerow was on the practice squad in 2015.
Kumerow is no stranger to taking the more challenging path to his dream. He was lightly recruited out of high school and 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. Even for the Division III Warhawks, he saw limited work as a sophomore, catching 15 passes for 201 yards and three touchdowns.
But in his junior year he emerged as a big receiving threat with 77 receptions and set the school record with 1,331 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns. He followed that up with a successful senior season, compiling 66 catches for 1,116 yards and 14 touchdowns. In those final two seasons, his team won back to back Division III national titles.
Despite the immense success at the Division III level, Kumerow was not invited to the NFL Combine, and went undrafted. Following the Draft, he was signed by the Bengals as an undrafted free agent, and he’s been fighting for a roster spot ever since.
Though he’s shown flashes of being a good possession receiver, Kumerow’s lack of impact on special teams has been the biggest reason he’s not made the cut. Those fifth and sixth receivers need to make an impact on special teams, so that is something he’ll need to find a way to contribute on if he wants to make the roster going forward.