The Bengals have released wide receiver Brandon Tate, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link), and they’ve also waived fellow WR Mario Alford with an injury designation, per Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer (Twitter link). Additionally, Cincinnati has placed rookie defensive tackle Andrew Billings on injured reserve and fellow DT Brandon Thompson on PUP. The club’s roster is now at 75.
Tate, 28, has been on Cincinnati’s roster since the 2011 season, but most of his contributions have come on special teams rather than on offense. He’s returned more than 350 kicks and punts during his time with the Bengals, averaging 9.6 yards per return on kickoffs and 24.6 yards on punts. Tate is highly-respected by the Cincinnati coaching staff and front office, and Rapoport notes that the club released him now so that he might be able to latch on with another club.
Alford, meanwhile, was thought to be contending for both returner jobs, but injuries have kept him off the field. The former sixth-round pick will revert to the Bengals’ injured reserve list if he clears waivers.
The Bengals also released kicker Jon Brown from the injured reserve list, presumably with an injury settlement.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.