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Steelers Cut Dwyer, Bengals Lose Evans to Eight-Game Suspension

On Saturday, NFL teams whittled their rosters down to 53 players and for some, there likely came some surprise endings.

For the Pittsburgh Steelers, they parted ways with running back Jonathan Dwyer. The writing on the wall for the player most likely came when the team added Felix Jones to the team in early August.

Jonathan Dwyer

Jonathan Dwyer

It was just last season that Dwyer was the team’s leading rusher with 623 yards and two touchdowns; in two straight October games he went past the 100-yard mark (the Cincinnati Bengals with 122 yards and the Washington Redskins with a 107-yard game). A 2010 draftee, in the offsesason Dwyer signed his restricted free agent tender and got off to a good start in the preseason.

He led the team in rushing over four games with his 131 yards (4.0 average) on 34 carries and had entered training camp in what he believed was top physical shape–something he had struggled with over his three years with the team. He had also battled problems with fumbling in his tenure.

But then Jones showed up and in Thursday’s game against the Carolina Panthers he ran for 56 yards on 14 carries. His efforts impressed the team enough after just a few practices and two preseason games to keep the sixth-year player. He will also try to compete for the starting role.

This comes after the Philadelphia Eagles had appeared less interested in him earlier in the month and after the Dallas Cowboys had had enough of the injury-plagued player after five seasons.

He brings 2,728 yards (a 4.8-yard career average) to the team but last season was challenging with his 3.6-yard average. Jones will have a nice clean slate.

For Dwyer, he was one of 23 players waived by the Steelers on Saturday to hit the magic 53 number. In a positive development, the team did activate its starting veteran tight end Heath Miller from the PUP list.

Last season, Miller was the team’s MVP but he tore numerous knee ligaments, including his ACL, in December. He has been on the road to recovery and recently Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said the player was “doing great,” and was eligible to begin practicing.

Looking ahead to the regular season, the Steelers will enter it without a preseason win. History is not on their side to have a winning regular season. Since 1994, only 37 teams have gone without a win in the preseason. In the regular season, only nine had winning seasons and three from this same small group won a playoff game.

The Steelers are coming off an 8-8 season. They enter 2013 with a nine-game regular season win total (-115 o/u) and -115 yes/no to go to the playoffs.

Bengals Lose Evans to Eight-Game Suspension

While not part of their roster cutting efforts, the Cincinnati Bengals  will be without defensive end DeQuin Evans for eight games this season due to a suspension from the NFL for violating its performance-enhancing substances policy.

DeQuin Evans

DeQuin Evans

For Evans, this is his second violation which had determined his high suspension. In 2011 Evans had served a four-game ban when he was a member of the team’s practice squad, reported SI.com.

Fans of HBO’s “Hard Knocks” recently saw a feature with Evans who talked about his childhood in Compton. Will this new storyline make it into this week’s episode?

In preseason play, Evans played in all four games and amassed three tackles with one stop from special teams play. He will be eligible to return to the team’s active roster on Oct. 28; that week the Bengals will play the New York Jets.

From the preseason, the Bengals went 3-1. They enter the season with some expectations with an 8 1/2 regular season win total and -125 yes to make the playoffs.





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