6 things the Bengals must do to sneak into the playoffs in 2020
By Aaron Burd
Keep the wide receivers healthy
Staying on offense, the Bengals must find a way to keep their wide receivers healthy. Cincinnati legend A.J. Green has struggled to stay healthy throughout his career, most evident by his year and a half absence since midway through the 2018 season. In addition to Green, former top ten pick John Ross has dealt with injuries for his three-year career as well.
Despite a very strong receiver group on paper, the Bengals won’t be able to capitalize on it if two of their best receivers miss an extended amount of time. Green, Ross, Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins, and Auden Tate are enough to scare teams, but when you take away Green and Ross, the lineup isn’t nearly as threatening.
Because of this, the Bengals must find a way to keep everyone healthy. Yes, this is a largely uncontrollable factor. However, there are certain things they could do to lighten everyone’s load. They can utilize their depth to rotate the more injury-prone players out of the game more. This may take talented players off the field more than you’d want, but it would make them more likely to play an entire season. With so many talented pass catchers on the roster, they can certainly afford to rotate players like Green and Ross out more than you would think.
The receiver position’s health is crucial to rookie quarterback Joe Burrow’s success. If he has an elite group to throw to, his rookie season could be a breeze compared to others in their first years. If not, he could have a rough rookie season. A rookie is bound to make mistakes, regardless of how good they are. With an elite group of receivers at full health, Burrow could be bailed out from those mistakes.