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Cincinnati Bengals are ‘all set’ at running back for 2022

Joe Mixon #28 of the Cincinnati Bengals. (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images)
Joe Mixon #28 of the Cincinnati Bengals. (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images) /
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The Cincinnati Bengals have arguably the best wide receiver room in the league, but their not-so-secret weapon may be their strong rushing offense.

As defenses scrambled to track the Bengals’ top three wideouts this past year, Joe Mixon quietly recorded his first Pro Bowl season with 292 carries for 1,205 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. After an impressive showing in Super Bowl LVI, Mixon’s RB1 status will be undisputed heading into 2022, and he may be relied on more to get those crucial first downs.

Unless, of course, Zac Taylor decides to put Perine in.

NFL’s Kevin Patra covered every NFL team’s running back situation heading into the 2022 season and had Cincinnati’s RB room ranked as one of the best:

"If the Bengals finally upgrade the offensive line, it would make life even easier on Mixon. Perine is a solid spot sub who made a couple of big plays in the postseason, but I expect Evans to play a more significant role in 2022. With pass-catching acumen, Evans would be the ideal third-down scatback in Cincy moving forward."

Cincinnati Bengals boast a talented running back unit for 2022

Mixon, Samaje Perine, and Chris Evans are all rostered for the 2022 season, and while Perine served as the RB2 in 2021, he could see a diminished role this year.

Patra believes Evans would be the better third-down “scatback” who can occasionally make the clutch catch. Perine will go down in Bengals history for his touchdown run against the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship, but his shortcomings were on display in the Super Bowl when he couldn’t gain the necessary yardage on third downs.

Cincy’s rushing attack as a whole will benefit from offensive line upgrades this offseason, as everyone knows a running back is only as good as his offensive line. That being said, Perine may have squandered his opportunities in Cincy and Evans could see more playing time this season.

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As long as Mixon continues playing at an elite level and Perine and Evans stay effective in short-yardage scenarios, the Bengals have a solid RB room to count on in 2022.

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