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For many players, this week is the darkest of the season. Teams must trim their rosters from the maximum 90 allowed to 75 and then down to 53, meaning nearly half of all players who participated in training camps will be out of jobs by Saturday evening.
As such, the Bengals reduced their ranks in this episode of Hard Knocks, beginning with the pre-practice release of guard Otis Hudson. Later, after the Dallas Cowboys game, the coaching staff met to discuss their next round of cuts.
After Hudson's release, the Bengals were at 89 men. Linebackers Brandon Joiner and Sean Porter both went to injured reserve, putting the roster at 87—meaning they needed to release 12 more players to be at the league-mandated 75-player Week 4 preseason roster.
On the episode, we witnessed the release of kicker Quinn Sharp, tight end Richard Quinn, linebacker Jordan Campbell and wide receiver Jheranie Boyd. Linebackers coach Paul Guenther spoke with Campbell, telling him that he has a future in the NFL, just not now in Cincinnati. Boyd, too, was dismissed with praise.
Also released by the Bengals this week were defensive tackle Vaughn Meatoga, cornerback Terrence Brown and tackle Jason Weaver, while quarterback Zac Robinson and fullback Chris Pressley were placed on the physically unable to perform list.
As director of player personnel Duke Tobin said, "Everybody is useful, nobody is necessary." It's a calming mantra during the otherwise uncomfortable, unpleasant business of cut week.
Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Cincinnati Bengals re-airs at 6 and 11 p.m. ET tonight on HBO