Cincinnati Bengals training camp began this week, and the buildup for the 2022 season kicked into top gear.
With that in mind, there are several Cincinnati Bengals that fans will be paying close attention to, whether those returning from injury, aiming for a starting berth or even those battling hard for a bottom-of-roster spot.
Here are four players who have the most intriguing storylines to keep an eye on.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference unless stated.
How significant a role can Hayden Hurst carve out?
Tight end Hayden Hurst arrives in Cincinnati as a direct replacement to the departing C.J. Uzomah. Uzomah was crucial in the Bengals’ Super Bowl run last year. Not only for his play but the leadership role he carved out. He became the focal point of the pre-game rituals and battled injury to play a role in the season finale.
Hurst won’t step in and be a vocal locker room presence immediately, but it will be interesting to see how the Bengals use him in this system. Uzomah enjoyed his best season last year with 493 receiving yards and five touchdowns. His 63 targets were fourth on the team and should give Hurst hope that he can rekindle his NFL career in 2022.
Hurst has only enjoyed over 50 targets one year of his first four in the league and posted an average on 10.2 yards per reception. Where he should outshine Uzomah is his athleticism, Hurst displays excellent speed and should be able to split out and be a more dynamic threat.
Seeing how he fits in behind the Bengals’ trio of receivers will be an intriguing part of training camp. He could become Burrow’s new safety blanket, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him generate early buzz.