To put it simply, the Shipley injury started a snowball effect that trickled down through the receiving corps of the Bengals. No one was able to produce to their fullest potential without him on the field. Getting Shipley back and healthy will be the number one priority to the Bengals passing game in the 2012 season.
There is much talk about who is going to be the number two wide receiver for the Bengals this coming season. A contest that seems to be mostly between 3rd round selection, Mohamed Sanu, 5th round selection, Marvin Jones, and current Bengals such as Armon Binns and Brandon Tate. There is much excitement about the upgrade to the number two position throughout Bengaldom, but I digress, without a healthy Shipley on the field, it could be a moot point.
Imagine this scenario: A.J. Green and Mohamed Sanu split wide, Shipley in the slot, and Gresham at the TE position. Green runs a go route, stretching the field, Sanu runs a skinny post on the other side. Shipley runs a 5 yard drag route, and Gresham runs a seam route. There are so many options for Andy Dalton there and opposing defenses will easily miss assignments and leave someone wide open. The reason this works is because they have solid route runners on the field that all need to be respected. A defense can’t just concentrate on one target as they did last season with Green. That’s the importance of having Shipley on the field this season.
Shipley has made statements saying that he is making significant progress with his injury and expects to be ready to go at some point during camp. He has already gone out to throw with quarterback Andy Dalton, which is a good sign. If Shipley can make it back on the field by the season opener, the Bengals offense would have one of their most underrated weapons back at their disposal. ‘Righting the Shipley’ also rights the ship on offense for the Bengals in the 2012 season.