After the Bengals were able to make the playoffs last year behind an offense that featured QB Andy Dalton, TE Jermaine Gresham, and WR A.J. Green, while also adding RB BenJarvus Green Ellis via free agency, WR Jordan Shipley quickly became one of the forgotten men after suffering an ACL injury in the teams’ second game of the season at Denver. He suffered the same injury to the same knee as a true freshman atTexasin 2004.
The Bengals drafted two potential stars in Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones, and if Shipley were to start out the season limited from his injury, it may have cost him a roster spot.
Shipley took to twitter today to announce he’s fully healthy and won’t be limited in any offseason workouts. Friday will mark the first day of Bengals offseason minicamps, and now Shipley looks like he can make it onto the field when OTAs begin on May 22.
Its huge that Shipley is now able to work with QB Andy Dalton and develop a stronger chemistry after the NFL lockout and ACL injury prevented that last season. He’ll be the primary slot receiver going into the 2012 season, and will be counted on to keep defenses from double teaming Green and give Dalton a consistent short/medium-range threat at the receiver position. As of now, the Bengals projected top-4 WR corp includes Green, Sanu, Shipley, and either Jones or Armon Binns. 3 of those players are unproven commodities, making Shipley and Green the only sure things going into the season.
Neither Binns, Sanu, or Jones have a career NFL reception. Ryan Whalen and Brandon Tate are also on the team, but how many WRs will the Bengals carry? As a rookie in 2010, Shipley caught 52 passes for 600 yards and three touchdowns, and if can post those same numbers, he’ll likely keep defenses from double-teaming Green and will keep the offense wide-open, which is something the Bengals will have to do this year if they are to compete for the AFC North.