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NFL roster moves: Bengals claim Christian Ringo off waivers from Packers

The Bengals now have a full 53-man roster heading into their Week 1 matchup with the Ravens.

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NFL: Green Bay Packers at Denver Broncos Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals had one vacant roster spot entering Week 1. They’ve now filled it by claiming defensive tackle Christian Ringo off of waivers, according to ESPN’s Katherine Terrell.

Ringo was just waived by the Green Bay Packers, who needed roster space to sign free agent Quinton Dial. It was clear the Packers wanted to go with more of a veteran presence in the middle of their defense with Dial, but Ringo is a young talent who showed a lot of potential in the preseason.

A former sixth-round pick out of Louisiana-Lafayette in the 2015 NFL Draft, Ringo made eight appearances during the 2016 season at defensive end and tackle in Green Bay’s 3-4 defense. He made two tackles and forced one fumble. He spent his entire rookie season on the practice squad in 2015.

Ringo enjoyed a memorable career at Louisiana-Lafayette after ranking seventh in the nation in tackles for loss (20) and 12th in the country in sacks (11.5) during his senior year in 2014. His 11.5 sacks tied the school single-season record. He also finished tied for No. 1 in school history with 21.0 career sacks, a very high mark for a defensive tackle.

Ringo looked like he was well on his way to staying on the Packers’ 53-man roster this year after a great showing in the preseason, which earned him a spot on the Pro Football Focus All-Preseason Team.

Interior Defender: Christian Ringo, Green Bay Packers, 87.2 overall grade

Ringo’s run stop total wasn’t massive (two), but he did an excellent job of defeating blocks and changing the point of attack inside. His pass-rushing was excellent, however, as he tallied 11 total pressures, including four each in Weeks 1 and 4.

Ringo did make the initial roster, but he was waived on Tuesday to make room for Dial. The Packers were almost certain to sign Ringo to their practice squad, though it was unlikely he ever made it through waivers.

Because the Bengals finished with the ninth-overall selection in the 2017 NFL Draft, they were ninth in line for waiver claims. They didn’t put in any waiver claims Sunday after final cuts had been made, but their patience seems to have paid off, as Ringo was easily one of the best players to hit waivers this week.

It’s still a bit of an odd move that the Bengals claimed the 6’1”, 298-pound Ringo when they already have four healthy defensive tackles going into Week 1. Geno Atkins, Ryan Glasgow, Pat Sims and Andrew Billings figure to get all of the defensive tackle snaps, but perhaps the Bengals felt they needed one more guy behind them.

This may actually be a smart move, being that neither Glasgow or Billings have had a regular-season snap. Glasgow is a rookie, and Billings basically is too after missing all of the 2016 season with a knee injury. Ringo has more experience than both of them, so perhaps he’ll crack the rotation sooner rather than later.

The Bengals now will need to cut a player following Week 1 once Adam Jones’ suspension is complete and he becomes eligible to return to the team. He’s currently on the Reserve/Suspended list and can be moved to the 53-man roster on Monday. The Bengals will need to make a corresponding cut when they add Jones back to the roster.