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Bengals sign Xavier Williams and put D.J. Reader on IR

The Bengals add to their defensive line depth after losing D.J. Reader.

New England Patriots Training Camp Photo by Steven Senne-Pool/Getty Images

The Cincinnati Bengals have signed free agent defensive tackle Xavier Williams, the team announced Monday. In a corresponding move, the team also placed defensive tackle D.J. Reader on injured reserve.

Williams, who weighs in at 6-2 and 309 pounds, is a sixth-year player out of the University of Northern Iowa. He was originally a college free agent signee of the Arizona Cardinals in 2015. He spent time with the Cardinals (2016-17) and Kansas City Chiefs (’18-19), then was with the New England Patriots earlier this season before being cut. He has played in 45 career games with 80 tackles, three sacks and three forced fumbles.

Reader, a fifth-year player, suffered a left quad injury in Sunday’s game at Baltimore. He had played in Cincinnati’s first five games, and recorded 19 tackles and two passes defensed. The NFL Network reported Sunday that Reader is likely to miss the remainder of the 2020 season due to his quad injury, though the team has not yet said how long he’ll be out.

The Bengals’ defensive tackle group now consists of Williams, Geno Atkins, Christian Covington and Andrew Brown. Practice squad defensive tackle Kahlil McKenzie has also been elevated from the practice squad to the gameday roster in each of the last two games.