Cincinnati Bengals bandwagons to hop on – No. 2: Sam Hubbard
Sam Hubbard is a player the Bengals were hoping would take a step forward last year, but ended up regressing. In his second season, Hubbard was a force recording 8.5 sacks and seemed like he was destined to become a great end to anchor this defense.
Instead, lower production and injury caused Hubbard to only record two sacks in 2021. The Bengals could have reason to hope that Hubbard will get back to his 2020 ways.
First, all is predicated that Hubbard is healthy for a full season. Being placed on the IR early in a season makes it very difficult to come back even if a player is able to play by the end of the year. Missing out on reps and rhythm set Hubbard back last year. With a full year, Hubbard should be able to find his groove.
Hubbard will also benefit from the presence of D.J. Reader in the middle of the line. Reader coming back from injury will force the opposition to shift a little inside which could open up some outside rushing lanes.
With a little help, Hubbard could have a similar season to Hendrickson and help turn the Bengals’ defense around.