Oct 12, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Rex Burkhead (33) against the Carolina Panthers at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals and the Panthers tie in overtime 37-37. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
The Bengals just resigned running back Cedric Peerman to an undisclosed contract and Rex Burkhead has two year left on his rookie contract. They are both good running backs and can be solid depth if the Bengals see injuries with Jeremy Hill or Giovani Bernard. The Bengals carried four running backs last season on their roster, and with the draft still at hand, it is possible, one might be out. Even if both stayed, they will be competing for the immediate backup role as the third running back.
Cedric Peerman is a five year veteran for the Bengals and has been dependable for the most part in his back up role. His first fumble didn’t come until this season and with 64 carries and 334 yards, has stepped in when needed and has played hard. He has only started in one game since joining the Bengals in 2009, and one touchdown in 2012. The Bengals know they can rely on him but is he the best option going forward?
Rex Burkhead is entering his third year in the league and can be a solid backup and starter, when his number is called. He had nine carries for 27 yards, a touchdown, and seven receptions for 49 yards. He is a key player for short options and screen passes out of the backfield. He also loves to roll outside into open space and run. He is quick, can make solid decisions with the ball, and is a reliable option for both running out of the backfield and in short passing situations. Is that enough though to earn the third spot?
Burkhead is more versatile and in the long run should prove the smarter decision. He played a vital role in New Orleans with three catches and he proved that the next man up plan can continue when his number is called. Peerman has the explosiveness in the open field but is not an option in the short pass game when they need it. That could hurt the Bengals, especially with Hue Jackson playing more off the run game, with play action and short passes in pressure situations.
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