Rashad Jeanty has taken another major step toward officially making the Cincinnati Bengals' opening day roster.
The Bengals released eight-year veteran Hannibal Navies yesterday.
Navies entered training camp second to starter David Pollack on the depth chart at strong-side linebacker, with Jeanty listed third. But the former Eskimo has been a standout through three pre-season games and will make the team, according to wide-spread speculation.
In fact, Jeanty could receive significant playing time on opening day Sept. 10 if Pollack continues to struggle with a hamstring injury.
In the Bengals' third pre-season game on Monday night, Pollack tried to participate in his first game action of the summer.
But after two snaps in the second series he was pulled off the field.
That left the door open for Jeanty to play - and as usual through the preseason, he didn't disappoint. He had five more tackles.
"I learned in the CFL that a backup is as valuable as a starter. You can go in at any minute," said Jeanty on the Bengals' website. "You have to be ready."
With only one series and two plays under his belt through camp, Pollack has one more preseason game - this Friday in Indianapolis - to test the hamstring and get in game condition before the regular-season opens next weekend.
If Pollack becomes healthy enough to start the real season, it appears Jeanty will be his back up.
LOOKING SOUTH: Led by general manager Paul Jones, the Green and Gold are tracking some possible new recruits in NFL training camps.
But there is a catch.
"We are not in the business of bringing anyone in just for the sake of saying we are bringing someone in," said Eskimo head coach Danny Maciocia.
"We need someone that is going to come in and we feel can step in and play right away.
"And the ones that we feel that can step in right away are still with their respective clubs in the NFL."
The next major cutdown day in the NFL is Saturday.
As part of the new salary management system, practice rosters in the CFL will expand by five spots next month for teams to evaluate NFL cuts.
FINISH LINES: For the first time since leaving B.C. Place after botching the snap on the potential game-winning field-goal attempt in Vancouver on Aug. 18, holder Jason Johnson re-emerged yesterday to talk about the infamous play.
"It was probably the low point in my athletic career," he said.
"You feel personally responsible. You feel horrible. It is hard to sleep at night sometimes.
"You play it over and over in your head."
But thanks to a strong belief in God and great teammates, life has become better again.
"I got a lot of calls and support and you realize that you are going to get through this," he said.
"It is one play in the grand scheme of things."