Bengals cut veteran wide receiver Brandon Tate

The team also placed rookie defensive tackle Andrew Billings on season-ending Injured Reserve, placed defensive tackle Brandon Thompson the Physically Unable to Perform list and released wide receiver Mario Alford under the waived/injured category.

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If Alford, who suffered an ankle injury in the preseason opener against Minnesota, clears waivers, he will revert to the Bengals Injured Reserve list. It’s the same thing then team did with James Wright last year while he was recovering from microfracture surgery.

The Tate move ends his five years in Cincinnati in which he became the franchise’s career leader in punt returns (149) and punt return yards (1,411). Tate caught 33 passes for 469 yards and three touchdowns with the Bengals.

“We have to make the decisions we feel are best for the team, but sometimes they are tough ones,” Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said. “Brandon has been a tremendous pro and a big part of the success our team has had the last five years. We wish him the very best.”

Putting Thompson on PUP means he can’t practice or play until after Week 6. He is still rehabbing the torn ACL he suffered in last year’s season finale.

The final cuts, in which the team must trim to the roster to 53, are due Saturday at 4 p.m.

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