JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — On Monday, Jaguars defensive end Dante Fowler’s one-week suspension ended. As a result, defensive tackle Michael Bennett’s tenure with the team concluded on Tuesday.
In order to return to the NFL-mandated 53-player limit on the active roster, Bennett was waived to make room for Fowler.
Fowler missed the Week 1 win over the New York Giants due to a suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. The Jaguars were able to welcome him back on Monday with an exemption that enabled them avoid to making a roster move until 4 p.m. on Tuesday. The Jaguars housed 54 players on the active roster for a little more than 24 hours.
Bennett, a 2015 sixth-round pick out of Ohio State, made the team’s initially 53-man roster following a strong preseason. The fourth-year lineman spent the majority of the last two seasons on the team's injured reserve list, playing in just one game during that time period.
As a rookie, Bennett appeared in 13 games as a rotational three-technique.
The Jaguars are likely moving away from Bennett due to his size. Bennett stands 6-foot-2 and 287 pounds, which is smaller than the physiques defensive line coach Marion Hobby covets. Former fourth-round pick, Sheldon Day, dealt with a similar stigma last season, as he was waived in the middle of the year.
Like Day, Bennett will now be subject to waivers. Day was claimed immediately by the San Francisco 49ers and he has since found a niche in their defense. Bennett is likely to receive attention on the waiver wire due to the lack of defensive line depth outside of Jacksonville.
With Bennett out of the lineup, the Jaguars will likely shift first-round pick Taven Bryan into the backup three-technique role behind starter Malik Jackson. Calais Campbell, Eli Ankou, Marcell Dareus and Abry Jones are also capable of playing the position.
Jacksonville has one of the strongest defensive line depth units in the league. Bennett was inactive against the Giants, as was Ankou and former third-round pick Dawuane Smoot, even with Fowler suspended.
Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter: @Mike_E_Kaye.