Bengals granted roster exemption for German tight end

EDEN PRAIRIE, MN - JUNE 14: Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Moritz Boehringer (81) runs with the ball after the catch during Minnesota Vikings Minicamp on June 14, 2017 at Winter Park in Eden Prairie, MN. (Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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EDEN PRAIRIE, MN - JUNE 14: Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Moritz Boehringer (81) runs with the ball after the catch during Minnesota Vikings Minicamp on June 14, 2017 at Winter Park in Eden Prairie, MN. (Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The NFL chose the AFC North in a random draw to take part in the International Pathway Program, which means all four teams will receive an 11th practice squad spot to carry an overseas player.

The Cincinnati Bengals player will be German tight end Mortiz Böhringer, who was a sixth-round pick of the Minnesota Vikings in 2016.

If Böhringer does not make the 53-man roster out of training camp, he can fill the 11th practice squad spot but would be ineligible to be activated during the season.

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Böhringer was the first player to be drafted directly from European football, where he played for the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns in the German Football League. Böhringer spent the 2016 season on the Vikings practice squad.

The other overseas players are the German league’s Christopher Ezeala (Baltimore Ravens), former British American Football League player Tigie Sankoh (Cleveland Browns) and former English professional rugby player Christian Scotland-Williamson (Pittsburgh Steelers).

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According to a press release from the NFL, the four overseas players have spent the last three months training alongside NFL players and draft hopefuls in Florida under the supervision of former NFLUK head of football Aden Durde, who was hired as the Atlanta Falcons defensive quality control coach after this season’s program, along with IMG Academy coaches including running back coach Earnest Byner, offensive line coach Paul Dunn, defensive back coach Donnie Henderson and wide receiver coach Larry Kirksey.

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