You have to actually watch the game to see the impact Bengals rookie RB Dan Herron has had in just two NFL game, as the stat sheet will only show three rushes for eight yards last night during the Bengals 34-13 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.
But he made several bone-crushing blocks on special teams, while also defending his lanes well on kickoff and punt coverage. His biggest play of the night came early in the first quarter of play when he was an edge rusher on the punt return unit, and he blew up Eagles receiver Marvin McNutt backwards into punter Mat McBriar, which blocked McBriar’s punt and the ball was recovered by the Bengals at the PHI-11.
This came just a week after making his NFL-debut against the Dallas Cowboys, a game in which he had a partially blocked punt and was a very effective blocker on the kickoff return team. The 2012 sixth-round pick out of Ohio State said he was never asked to block punts in college or high school, but has excelled in that role for the Bengals:
I guess it’s one of those things where they kind of just put me out there and I was pretty good at it. I’m getting better at it. I’m working to get better at it. I’m having a lot of fun doing it. I just try to get off the ball as fast as I can, make a move and just get to the ball.
After looking like a lost cause during the preseason and barely making it onto the practice squad, he just may become a key contributor for Cincinnati’s late-season playoff push. He showed some burst in the run game while getting some garbage-time carries, and if Cedric Peerman can’t go next week vs. Pittsburgh, maybe Herron can be the change-of-pace back the Bengals desperately need on offense.