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Bengals release Nikita Whitlock and Orson Charles

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The Cincinnati Bengals have reportedly cleared out their fullbacks and H-back players, leaving one to conclude that rookie Ryan Hewitt has made the squad.

Andy Lyons

The Cincinnati Bengals have released fullback Nikita Whitlock, according to a tweet by Aaron Wilson with the Baltimore Sun and the National Football Post.

Whitlock, a college free agent signed after the 2014 NFL draft, played 44 snaps in four preseason games. According to the grading system used by Pro Football Focus, Whitlock scored a +1.4 in run blocking and a +1.6 overall. Obviously, as a first-year rookie, Whitlock will have eligibility on the team's practice squad.

If you think that this bodes well for Orson Charles, think again. The Bengals also released Orson Charles on Saturday, per Pro Football Talk.

Charles, a former fourth-round pick from the 2012 NFL draft, played 31 of Cincinnati's 34 games over the past two years... primarily on special teams. He posted only nine receptions for 101 yards receiving (eight catches, 101 yards exclusively as a tight end in 2012).

Though it hasn't been announced, should we pop the champagne for Ryan Hewitt? Hewitt, an undrafted free agent that Cincinnati signed after the 2014 NFL draft, began his collegiate career at tight end with the Stanford but converted into a fullback.