The Cincinnati Bengals claimed quarterback Jeff Driskel, who was a sixth-round pick of the San Francisco 49ers this year, off waivers today prior to announcing their 10-man practice squad.
The 6-foot-4, 230-pound Driskel threw for 27 touchdowns and eight interceptions last year at Louisiana Tech while carrying 92 times for 323 yards and five scores.
The move likely ends quarterback Keith Wenning’s tenure with the Bengals. The Coldwater High School grad spent most of 2015 on the practice squad before being promoted to the 53-man roster when Andy Dalton suffered a season-ending broken thumb in December.
Wenning was not among the nine players signed to the practice squad today.
Driskel began his college career at Florida but transferred to Louisiana Tech after being benched as a fourth-year junior. Driskel ran a 4.56 40-yard dash at the Combine, which was the fastest of all quarterbacks, .21 better than Trevone Boykin and Carson Wentz.
Driskel was 15 of 31 for 132 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions during the preseason with 49ers.
This is the first time the team has carried three quarterbacks on the 53-man roster since 2010 with Carson Palmer, Jordan Palmer and Dan LeFevour.
To make room for him on the 53-man roster, the Bengals waived linebacker Paul Dawson, the team’s third-round pick last year. Dawson has practice-squad eligibility, so if he clears waivers the Bengals could add him to the practice squad as early as Monday.
Also today, the Bengals placed running back Cedric Peerman and first-round rookie cornerback William Jackson on Injured Reserve and re-signed cornerback Chykie Brown and offensive lineman Trey Hopkins.
By waiting until 4 p.m. today to make the IR moves, the Bengals are able to bring back either Peerman or Jackson with their lone designation-to-return tag. The team doesn’t have to announce which player it will be until that player is ready to practice again, which can be any time after Week 6.
The Bengals still have a vacancy on the 10-man practice squad after only signing nine players today. They are:
DE Ryan Brown (rookie, Mississippi State)
HB Tra Carson (rookie, Texas A&M)
DT David Dean (rookie, Virginia)
CB Darius Hillary (rookie, Wisconsin)
WR Jake Kumerow (first-year player, Wisconsin-Whitewater)
TE Matt Lengel (first-year player, Eastern Kentucky)
CB Tony McRae (rookie, North Carolina A&T)
G Alex Redmond (rookie, UCLA)
WR Alonzo Russell (rookie, Toledo)
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