The Cincinnati Bengals claimed Keivarae Russell off waivers today, per the official team Twitter account:
NEWS- #Bengals make the following roster moves:
-Claim DB KeiVarae Russell
-Waive OG Trey Hopkins
— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) September 15, 2016
The Bengals’ first-round pick this year, corner William Jackson III, is out until at least November with a torn pectoral muscle, which has led them to look around for depth options. An interesting side note to their claim is that they were near the back of the line in the waiver order, so most of the league declined to make the low-risk, low-reward pick up of Russell before Cincinnati pulled him from the desert.
Russell was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in April, who traded up to select him in the third round. The Chiefs cut Russell yesterday in a move that caught many observers by surprise, especially given the Andy Reid regime’s penchant for giving draft picks time to get up to speed – all but two of Reid’s picks in Kansas City, regardless of round, have made it through a season with the team. He played sparingly in camp and showed some flashes of ability, but the Chiefs’ preseason trade for San Francisco cornerback Kenneth Acker seemed an ominous commentary on his chances. When they sent corner Marcus Cooper to Arizona for an undisclosed draft pick it seemed Russell might again be safe, but he eventually was lost in a roster crunch anyway.