3 breakout candidates for the Bengals’ 2020 offense
Bengals’ breakout candidates: Rodney Anderson, Running Back
The running back position has been one of the Bengals’ most consistent positions over the past three years. Joe Mixon is one of the top ten backs in the league and Giovani Bernard is a veteran who fills the number two spot nicely. Together, they make one of the best running back duos in the league. However, if either of Cincinnati’s top two backs were to get injured, second-year player Rodney Anderson could emerge as a solid weapon in the running game.
If not for an unfortunate injury history, Anderson could have been one of the top backs drafted in the 2019 NFL Draft. Instead, the Oklahoma running back plummeted to the sixth round, where the Bengals got a steal with the 211th overall pick of the draft.
In Week 3 of the 2019 preseason, Anderson showed playmaking ability as a pass-catcher. With 4 catches for 51 yards, the rookie looked primed to earn touches in the regular season. Regrettably, this did not come to fruition, as he tore his ACL again before the season started.
However, Anderson could seize a role for himself in 2020. Despite Mixon being in line for a workhorse role, the second-year running back will be waiting for his chance. Running back is a physically demanding position and injuries can come at the drop of a hat. Should Mixon suffer an injury and miss a game or two, Anderson could emerge as a dangerous weapon in the running game. This will be vital for a Bengals’ offense leaning on a rookie quarterback. In order to keep Joe Burrow’s play at a high level, the offense can’t afford a poor running game.