Former Bengals RB Jacques Patrick should thrive with 49ers

One team’s loss is another team’s gain, and Cincinnati Bengals running back Jacques Patrick was poached by the San Francisco 49ers on Tuesday.

San Francisco needed Patrick much more than Cincinnati did, and though the Bengals will be sorry to see him go, he’ll be much more valued on the 49ers roster.

So far in 2021, San Francisco lost starting RB Raheem Mostert to a season-ending injury, and their alternates are either recently injured or recovering from injury.

Taking Patrick from the Bengals’ practice squad was just too good to pass up. Besides, it would have been nearly impossible for Patrick to break into the Bengals’ depth chart that already had Joe Mixon, Samaje Perine, and Chris Evans ahead of him.

Patrick was the fourth-highest-rated running back in the country coming out of high school but ultimately went undrafted in 2019. In 2020 he made the leap from the XFL, where he played for the Tampa Bay Vipers, to the NFL and spent the season on Cincinnati’s practice squad.

Cincinnati Bengals RB Jacques Patrick will be missed but quickly forgotten

Patrick has never played a regular season game with the Bengals, but he did earn a PFF rushing grade of 84 during the 2021 preseason. He’s a big back with the power and speed to get around the edge, and he’s accumulated good yardage in his past stints with different teams.

In another season, Patrick may have gotten a chance to prove himself in the Bengals’ starting lineup, but he deserves regular season minutes now, and the 49ers are lucky to have him.

Patrick has played as a backup RB for long enough. At Florida State, Patrick spent his first two seasons as the backup to Dalvin Cook, and the following two years he split No. 1 ball-carrying duties with Cam Akers.

At San Francisco, Patrick could get touches as early as Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers. The Bengals will wipe just a few trailing tears from their eyes as they bid him goodbye and good luck knowing that he truly is better off for leaving.

Cincinnati needs to shift its focus to the interior offensive line, anyway. Patrick freed up a practice squad spot for offensive lineman Lamont Gaillard, who should add depth in a very important position for the Bengals. The more Joe Burrow protectors, the better.