Hakeem Adeniji is back for the Cincinnati Bengals at the perfect time
The Cincinnati Bengals just got a huge boost to their offensive line depth ahead of Sunday’s matchup against the Cleveland Browns. Hakeem Adeniji has been out with a pectoral injury since Aug. 31. He’s expected to be Cincinnati’s first lineman off the bench and is eligible to play in Week 9.
Adeniji is a product of the 2020 NFL Draft, where he was nabbed in the sixth-round (No. 180) out of Kansas by the Bengals. Last year, he played in 15 games and started in five of those. According to PFF, Cincinnati’s offensive line ranked No. 30 out of 32 teams. Joe Burrow was sacked 32 times and took 42 hits over the course of the first 11 weeks of the season.
Although he started out his professional career in one of the league’s worst offensive lines, the tackle/guard showed promise. Adeniji has a mix of good technique and solid fundamentals. His injury set him back, but he’s still been able to develop with the Bengals and provides the depth that the team needs.
Rookie guard Jackson Carman was carted off the field in last Sunday’s loss to the Jets, and although he’s fine and expected to play this week, having Adeniji available is a game-changer. The second half of the year is underway and Cincinnati is going to have to find ways to stop Cleveland’s Myles Garrett this weekend. There’s no better time for Adeniji to return to the active roster than now.
Hakeem Adeniji is eligible to play in Week 9 for the Cincinnati Bengals
With Adeniji back, coach Zac Taylor will have enough time to decide whether the lineman will be a good fit to take over for right tackle Riley Reiff if the Bengals don’t re-sign him during the offseason. Reiff signed a one-year contract worth $7.5 million in March of this year.
How does left tackle Jonah Williams feel about Adeniji’s return? I’d have to say that he feels pretty good.
To be Adeniji’s size, six-foot-four and 304 pounds, being quick off the line of scrimmage is invaluable. Burrow to Ja’Marr Chase touchdowns are made possible by Cincinnati’s five players up front. After enduring what he went through last year, the Bengals’ quarterback is surely fired up about his offensive line.
If you take a look at Adeniji’s Twitter account, you can tell that he was still locked in even though he was on the Reserve/Non-Football Injury list. Now he’ll get to make his return against an AFC North rival. Cincinnati is currently in second place in the division with a 5-3 record.
The Bengals will play at home for the first time in three weeks on Sunday. Paul Brown Stadium is already going to be rocking, but Adeniji’s return just gave fans another reason to be a bit rowdier.