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Bengals Tweak Midseason Roster

The Bengals announced a few small moves on Tuesday that primarily affects the bottom-end of the roster. Offensive guard/tackle Scott Kooistra, who was cut a few weeks ago and then re-signed on November 9th, was released again. This doubtlessly indicates that starting guard Evan Mathis is fully healed and ready to get back into the line-up from his recent ankle injury. With the open spot on the roster, the team re-signed another familiar face in defensive tackle Orien Harris. Harris was cut to make room for the arrival of running-back Larry Johnson last week.

These moves make a lot of sense to most Bengal observers. Mathis was a starting guard for the majority of the season. With him back, current left guard Nate Livings can re-assume a back-up role. Additionally, all indications are that first round pick Andre Smith is finally close to getting on the field. All of this made Kooistra expendable. As for the Harris signing, it again makes sense as the team is getting thin along the defensive front and no doubt concerned about the health of defensive tackle Domata Peko, who suffered a sprained knee in Sunday’s loss at Oakland.

Also, cornerback Geoff Pope was signed off the team’s practice squad to Philadelphia’s 53-man roster. The Bengals replaced him on the squad with another cornerback, Antonio Smith of Ohio State fame.

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