The Bengals today made a pair of roster moves. The team signed rookie linebacker Hardy Nickerson off the practice squad and waived veteran defensive tackle Pat Sims.
Sims had already been ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Broncos due to a calf injury. He originally injured his calf during the Week 9 game against the Jaguars and missed last week’s game against the Titans.
Nickerson, a rookie out of the University of Illinois, had signed to the Bengals’ practice squad on Wednesday, after being waived from the team’s 53-man roster on Tuesday. He originally signed with the team as a college free agent this year following the draft. He has played in seven Bengals games this season, recording two tackles on special teams (both assists). He also spent two games on the team’s practice squad in Weeks 4 and 5. Nickerson’s father is former NFL linebacker Hardy Nickerson Sr., who played for the Steelers when Marvin Lewis was a coach there.
Sims, a 10th-year veteran, has played in eight games this year with seven starts and recorded 19 tackles. A third-round draft pick for the Bengals in 2008, Sims spent his first five NFL seasons in Cincinnati (2008-2012), then spent 2013-2014 with the Oakland Raiders before returning to the Bengals in 2015. His career totals include 124 games (48 starts), 336 tackles and 8.5 sacks.
This is somewhat surprising news for the Bengals as they have traditionally been loyal to their veteran players. With Sims injured, the Bengals could have put him on Injured Reserve, but instead chose to waive him. Since we’re past the trade deadline, he’ll be subject to waivers.
With the postseason pretty much out of reach for the Bengals, it makes sense for the team to move on from older players who aren’t going to be part of the future of the team, and focus in on younger up-and-comers like Nickerson. Sims is 31 and turns 32 at the end of the month. Nickerson is 23-years-old.
With Sims now gone, Andrew Billings, Ryan Glasgow and the recently promoted Josh Tupou should see more playing time.