The Cincinnati Bengals have made a pair of roster moves to add a kicker with Randy Bullock questionable for Week 9.
On Saturday, the team announced that free agent kicker Marshall Koehn was signed to the 53-man roster. To make room for Koehn, the Bengals waived third year safety Derron Smith. That’s a good sign that Bullock will not play when the Bengals take on the Jaguars on Sunday in Jacksonville. Bullock showed up to practice on Wednesday with back stiffness and didn’t practice Wednesday or Friday. He was limited on Thursday.
The 6 foot, 200 pound Koehn is a first-year player. He originally signed with the Miami Dolphins as a college free agent out of Iowa in 2016, playing in three of the Dolphins’ preseason games before being waived. He converted both of his field goal attempts and his lone PAT attempt with the Dolphins.
Koehn was not with a team during the 2016 regular season, but he signed with the Minnesota Vikings during the offseason this year. He played in all four of the Vikings’ preseason games, converting two of three field goals and five of six PATs. He was waived by the Vikings on final cuts on Sept. 2.
Smith was a sixth-round Bengals draft choice in 2015. He had played in three games this year and had one special teams tackle. He has played in 31 regular-season Bengals games the past three seasons and he has totaled seven tackles, one pass defensed on defense and six special teams tackles.
Smith appeared to have a bright future ahead of him after promising rookie and sophomore seasons, but injuries have kept him off the field far too much for the Bengals to rely on him
Another thing hurting Smith has been Josh Shaw playing more at safety this season than in previous years. It looks like Shaw is now a full-time safety now along with George Iloka, Clayton Fejedelem and Shawn Williams. The Bengals typically keep just four safeties, so Smith became the odd man out once Shaw began playing exclusively at safety.
That said, assuming the Bengals don’t keep two kickers for more than a game or two, it’s possible Smith is re-signed in the coming weeks. That is, if no other team claims him.