Saturday saw the Bengals create their 53-man roster for the 2016 season. However, those are not the only players who will be part of Cincinnati's roster this year.
Every year, around 700 NFL players face are cut from their respective teams, leaving them with the possibility that their NFL dreams have just died. However, not all is lost for those who get their pink slips.
The NFL offers a saving grace for those not ready for their team's final 53-man rosters: the practice squad. While the practice squad isn't exactly living the NFL dream, it does keep the dream alive. On Sunday after 1:00 p.m. ET, the Bengals will create their 10 player practice squad.
For the Bengals, they've had many players over the years begin on the practice squad before eventually making it onto the 53-man roster. Vinny Rey, Trevor Roach T.J. Johnson, DeShawn Williams, Clinton McDonald, and Dan Skuta are among those who've gone from life on the Bengals' practice squad to making it onto the 53-man roster. Rey, Roach, Johnson and Williams are all now on the Bengals’ 53 man roster this year.
This year, there are a host of players the Bengals had to part ways with who absolutely should be on the practice squad, if not another team's 53-man roster. Defensive lineman Ryan Brown, wide receiver Jake Kumerow, offensive lineman Trey Hopkins, and cornerback Darius Hillary are players who should be locks for the practice squad, if another team does not claim them.
Those four had good showings in the preseason and could easily find their way onto the 53-man roster this year. Kumerow and Hopkins were on the practice squad last year.
After those players, there are some tougher calls to make on who fills out the rest of the squad. Defensive lineman David Dean did enough that he should make it.
Keith Wenning figures to be the developmental quarterback if the Bengals want to keep one, even though Wenning didn't exactly earn a spot over some of these other names. It’s possible the Bengals search the waiver wire for a different quarterback.
Here is my prediction of what the Bengals' practice squad will look like on Sunday:
--DE Ryan Brown (rookie, Mississippi State)
--WR Jake Kumerow (first-year player, Wisconsin-Whitewater)
--CB Darius Hillary (rookie, Wisconsin)
--G Trey Hopkins (second-year player, Texas)
--DT David Dean (rookie, Virginia)
--G Alex Redmond (rookie, UCLA)
--QB Keith Wenning (first-year player, Ball State)
--HB Bronson Hill (first-year player, Eastern Michigan)
--C Alex Cooper (rookie, Houston)
--WR Alonzo Russell (rookie, Toledo)
These players are also practice squad eligible and cut on Saturday:
--FB Andrew Bonnet (rookie, North Dakota State)
--HB Tra Carson (rookie, Texas A&M)
--WR Rashaun Simonise (rookie, Calgary)
--OT Aaron Epps (rookie, Louisville)
--TE Matt Lengel (first-year player, Eastern Kentucky)
--CB Tony McRae (rookie, North Carolina A&T)
--G Trip Thurman (rookie, Florida)
--OT John Weidenaar (rookie, Montana State)
--WR Mario Alford (second-year player, West Virginia)
Who do you think should be on the Bengals’ practice squad?