Wednesday after final cuts is an important day for NFL GMs and their staffs. Hundreds of players have recently become available on the waiver wire, and over 500 of them can end up on practice squads around the league. It’s time for scouts around the league to show what they know.
Practice squad players may not get paid like 53 of their teammates, but they could be called upon to fill in for an injured player at any point during the season. The NFL has retained rules from last year that make these players more available to play every week as well, so clubs need to add as much talent as possible.
Before the fun starts, waiver claims need to be finalized by Wednesday afternoon at 12:00 p.m. EST. Once those players find new homes, or remain free agents, clubs can begin assembling practice squads.
The Cincinnati Bengals’ practice squad will be composed almost entirely of players they cut Tuesday afternoon. With 16 spots up for grabs, here’s our best guess at the Bengals’ initial practice squad:
- QB Kyle Shurmur — A third quarterback is a must, whether he’s on the 53, or just practicing. Shurmur showed improvement vs. the Miami Dolphins this past weekend.
- RB Jacques Patrick — Presumably one of the toughest cuts from Tuesday, Patrick deserves a shot to latch on somewhere else. If he doesn’t, the Bengals would love to keep coaching him.
- RB Pooka Williams Jr. — His college tape remains exciting, but Williams had a disappointing August. He should clear waivers with ease.
- WR Trent Taylor — Though Trenton Irwin beat him out, Taylor is worth keeping around if he doesn’t find a new opportunity.
- WR Scotty Washington — Washington didn’t have a great shot at cracking the 53, but his size and speed are hard to ignore.
- TE Thaddeus Moss — Even though he didn’t make the 53, the practice squad is still a good plan for Moss. If one of C.J. Uzomah or Drew Sample gets injured, Moss can be elevated and showcase his receiving skills.
- TE Mason Schreck — He is inevitable. Schreck’s special teams prowess always makes him a candidate to come back.
- C Keaton Sutherland — They’ve probably gotta keep around one extra lineman. Sutherland has experience at all three interior spots.
- DE Noah Spence — Considering how late Spence joined the team, he seemed like an ideal veteran to keep around this way. They need edge depth with Khalid Kareem nursing a shoulder and Joseph Ossai out for the year.
- DE Amani Bledsoe — Speaking of edge depth, Bledsoe is fine to keep around for practice.
- DT Renell Wren — They only have two 3-techniques on the roster, so Wren can provide some emergency depth there.
- LB Joe Bachie — It was an up-and-down preseason for Bachie, but the second-year linebacker showed flashes of competency in coverage. Keeping him around would give them six linebackers for practice.
- CB Tony Brown — With Trae Waynes expected to miss a few games, Cincinnati may end up promoting a cornerback to the active roster to replenish their depth. Brown would probably be the next corner up.
- CB Winston Rose — Rose played a lot of special teams last month, enough where it was borderline debatable if he’d crack the 53. They’ll want to keep him around.
- S Trayvon Henderson — Some team should give Henderson a shot, he’s a genuinely good backups safety. If not, he’ll always have a place in Cincy.
- P Drue Chrisman — It would be shocking to see them not bring back the heir to Kevin Huber.
Who do you want the Bengals to bring back onto their practice squad? Let us know in the comments!