In the Bengals’ second preseason game against the New York Giants, Rigg had a sneaky good performance that went under the radar. Despite not being targeted in that game, he was able to show off his run and pass-blocking abilities. Still, the final 53-man roster seemed to be a long shot for the rookie tight end out of Kentucky.
Today, while still a faraway shot, the long road has become shorter.
Like with all the tight ends who played Saturday evening, the Bengals got a chance to see Rigg line up all over the field on offense and special teams. At one point, he even lined up as a fullback. The “I formation” is something that we rarely see from Zac Taylor’s offense. However, if the team were to have some plays out of this formation, it is good to know there is another tight end besides Drew Sample who the team can depend on in a fullback role.
Rigg was heralded for his blocking ability coming out of college. No small task for a tight end from an SEC school with a run-heavy offense.
Bengals tight end Justin Rigg put together a solid preseason showing in 2022
However, he also showed he is a capable receiver for the Wildcats when called upon. He finished his final year at Kentucky with a career-best 20 catches, 189 yards, and four touchdowns.
We still do not have an official word on the injury status of Mitchell Wilcox or Drew Sample. If one of them is not ready to go in Week 1, the Bengals will need a third tight end. Thaddeus Moss appeared to have a lead there, but after Saturday night, that may no longer be the case.
Rigg’s hard work finally paid off on the final offensive drive for the Bengals when quarterback Jake Browning hit him for a touchdown with 4:34 left in the fourth quarter.
On the night, Rigg finished with one target, one reception for three yards, and a touchdown.
Given the status of Wilcox and Sample, along with Moss’ less than ideal preseason showing, the roster door is ajar enough that Rigg has a chance to drive through. At the very least, he has a great shot at making it to the practice squad.