The Bengals have added a kicker — and waived a familiar name.
Veteran center Jeff Faine is now a free agent again as the Bengals signed veteran kicker Josh Brown. Mike Nugent’s calf injury is enough of a concern that the Bengals tried out some kickers on Wednesday and signed Brown in time to have him for Thursday’s practice.
Faine, signed just before the season after Kyle Cook’s foot injury, immediately stepped in at center and stabilized the line. But he battled hamstring issues, and rookie Trevor Robinson had come on and started the last four games. Cook is on the injured-reserve but designated for return list, and he’s back at practice.
All Marvin Lewis would say this week is that Cook has “done well” in his return to work.
It’s that time of year for nicks and bruises and teams having to scramble to have enough healthy bodies, and having a healthy kicker is obviously a priority. With Cedric Peerman injured, the Bengals promoted rookie running back Daniel “Boom” Herron from the practice squad earlier this week.
Health is an even bigger priority for the 7-5 Bengals now not only because they’re tied with the Steelers for the AFC’s final wildcard spot, but because they play Dallas Sunday then play at Philadelphia five days later. There’s not much margin for error — or much time to wait if there’s reason to think a player might not be healthy enough to play.