Thanks to NFL.com’s gamebook for every game, as well as Pro football Focus, we’re able to look at the snap counts for every Bengals player for every game. Each week we’ll break down who got snaps where, and what it means going forward.
The biggest story of the day was Rutgers rookie receiver Mohamed Sanu. He notched a career-high four receptions for 47 yards and his first NFL touchdown reception. It was mainly due to the injuries to Armon Binns and Marvin Jones, both entered the season ahead of Sanu on the depth chart, limiting him to just 49 snaps all season.
But both players were inactive Sunday, leaving the Bengals no choice but to see what the former Scarlet Knight had to offer. On Sunday, Sanu received 36 of a possible 61 offensive snaps, and may have taken hold of the #2 receiver role. He’ll have to keep it up in the coming weeks as both Jones and Binns return from injury. All three receivers are still very young, with Binns having the only full NFL season under his belt. It will be very exciting to see how the three talented players continue to develop going forward, and it will be quite a competition to watch once all three are healthy.
The emergence of Sanu wasn’t good news for Ryan Whalen, who received a mere four snaps after not playing at all last week vs. Denver. After Whalen notched 33 snaps against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 7, it looked as though the Bengals were ready to use him heavily in the rotation, but the past two weeks would suggest they’ve gone away from that, and it now appears the former Stanford Cardinal is nothing more than an emergency option.