Jul 25, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback John Skelton (9) call a play during training camp at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
As is the case with every NFL team, injuries will happen, and sometimes it’s to a team’s best player(s), so having someone behind them that can come in and ride the ship until they come back is critical in this league. Fortunately for the Bengals, there’s only been one game in which that was the case regarding A.J. Green, and while there may not be a receiver in the game better than him, someone still has to step up if he is ever injured.
For today, that player was Marvin Jones:
Also on the mend is the team’s primary kickoff returner Brandon Tate, who is fighting to secure a roster spot as the fifth or sixth receiver, but it’s highly unlikely he’ll make the roster based his WR skills. It’s his abilities on special teams that will keep him on the roster, but if someone can outperform him on kickoff and punt returns, he could be on the chopping block:
The key player to watch here is Hawkins. I believe given his skill set, he could develop into a quality return man, and with Mohamed Sanu expected to challenge Hawkins for the team’s primary slot role, it will be a good way to put Hawkins’ skills to good use.
Linebacker James Harrison isn’t expected to be used in pass coverage a lot this season, as the pass-rushing specialist is likely going to be used exclusively in passing-downs. That doesn’t mean you won’t see Harrison dropping back into coverage, and he did so a few times in practice today, and even broke up a pass while covering Jermaine Gresham.