Cincinnati Bengals: Finding a Role for Rodney Anderson
Rookie sixth round pick Rodney Anderson leaves the Cincinnati Bengals with a good problem to have after an impressive preseason debut Thursday night.
In the preseason, not much of obvious value happens. Still, one thing all fans and analysts look for is guys who may not necessarily be highly touted that jump off the television screen.
On Thursday, 2019 sixth round draft pick Rodney Anderson did just that for Cincinnati. The former Oklahoma running back couldn’t get much going on the ground managing just eight yards on seven carries.
However, he hauled in four catches on four targets out of the backfield for 51 yards. Most of the receptions look like the one in the clip below from the EBall Productions YouTube channel. Anderson turns a small gain into a significant one by making a few defenders look silly.
Again, one thing you look for in the preseason is guys that make you say wow. The clip above qualifies. When you realize this was his first game action in over a year due to an ACL injury, you have to say wow again.
With Joe Mixon, Giovani Bernard, and fellow rookie Trayveon Williams already in the running back room, Anderson probably didn’t figure much into on field plans for the Bengals this year. That may still be the case. However, Williams is dealing with an injury that may stretch into the regular season. Anderson showed enough Thursday for me to want to see more sooner rather than later. I cannot be the only one.
There has to be an immediate role to get Anderson’s athleticism on the field in meaningful situations, even if is just the screen game. In any case, depth is a concern throughout the Bengals entire roster. Running back may be the lone exception. Cincinnati may have the best stable in all offootball. The team would be foolish not to use them all and keep the entire group fresh.