Relatively unknown Bengals: Mike Thomas
As previously mentioned, Cincinnati’s wide receiver room has seen its fair share of injuries. Green, Higgins, and Ross have all missed time, although, for Ross, his absence was due to a family emergency. Filling in for the trio of pass-catchers has been Mike Thomas, and he hasn’t disappointed so far.
The former Rams receiver has Zac Taylor ties, as the two spent the 2017 and 2018 season together in Los Angeles. He clearly made an impression on the Bengals’ man at the helm, as he earned himself a contract, despite Cincinnati possessing one of the most talented wide receiver rooms in the league.
Initially, it seemed like there was no shot Thomas would have a chance to make the roster. Green, Boyd, Ross, Tate, and Higgins are all locks. If you assume the Bengals keep six receivers, that would leave just one spot up for grabs. Alex Erickson has an advantage for that final slot, given his experience with the franchise, special teams ability, and knack for stepping up when his number is called.
However, Thomas may cause the front office to deviate from the most obvious course of action. He’s developed a nice chemistry with Joe Burrow and turned some heads in training camp. Taylor had this to say about him,
"“Mike Thomas is an explosive guy. I’ve been around him a couple years. He’s got that explosiveness to him, and he really gets on those DBs quickly.”"
If Thomas continues to impress, he could force the Bengals to keep seven receivers or consider keeping him instead of Erickson. His speed would certainly be a valuable commodity.