CINCINNATI (AP) — The Cincinnati Bengals on Wednesday bolstered their defensive front by claiming defensive end Takk McKinley off waivers from the Atlanta Falcons.
McKinley, a fourth-year player out of UCLA, was a first-round draft pick of the Falcons in 2017. He has played in 49 games with 17 1/2 sacks. The Falcons waived him Monday after he took to social media in recent weeks to make it clear that he wanted out of Atlanta.
He posted on his Twitter account Nov. 4 that he requested trades. He said the Falcons turned down an offer for a second-round pick in 2019. Added McKinley: “The same @AtlantaFalcons turned down a 5th and 6th round draft pick from multiple teams when I requested to get traded this year. I only have 17.5 career sacks.”
The Falcons did not pick up McKinley’s fifth-year option before the season.
McKinley had a combined 13 sacks in his first two seasons, but a lack of production and frequent injuries the past two years may have contributed to his frustrations and request to be traded.
On Wednesday, he tweeted that he was “ready to get to work!”
Cincinnati was in need of some depth at the position since trading Carlos Dunlap to Seattle last month after the veteran defensive end complained publicly about his diminished role.
Defensive end Sam Hubbard (elbow) was cleared to practice after being on the injured list for a month and is expected to play Sunday against unbeaten Pittsburgh.
Also Wednesday, the Bengals added practice squad cornerbacks Brian Allen and Winston Rose to the COVID list. Already on the list were offensive lineman Fred Johnson, cornerback Trae Waynes and defensive tackle Margus Hunt.
Linebacker Jordan Evans and cornerback Mackensie Alexander came off the list, but Alexander did not practice because of an illness.
And guard Xavier Su’a-Filo was cleared to return to practice. He injured his ankle in the Week 1 loss to the Chargers.
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