Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com reports that the team has claimed former Steeler RB Gary Russell off waivers. Russell, released on April 16th, served as a reserve ball carrier, special teamer, and short yardage back for the Steelers the last two seasons.
His most recent game experience came just over two months ago in Super Bowl XLIII. Though he finished with only 2 carries and -3 yards, he did score the first Steeler points, plunging into the end zone from one yard out in the second quarter.
Russell should provide competition for the role of back-up to Cedric Benson and has experience returning kick-offs, a particular area of need for the Bengals.
In addition to Russell and Benson, the Bengals also have Kenny Watson, Chris Perry, James Johnson, and DeDe Dorsey on the roster. The Bengals had been expected to draft a RB in next weekend’s draft. It is presently unknown if the move changes those plans.