There are not many secrets in the NFL, or at least there shouldn’t be. Between all of the tape, game film, scouting combine, and pro days there is not much left to the imagination. However, there are still some surprises that slip through the cracks. A few underrated and underappreciated players are seemingly known only to a handful of people.
The Cincinnati Bengals have a few examples of this on their incredibly talented squad. Here are four best-kept secrets on the Bengals roster heading into the 2023 season.
4. Chris Evans
While it may be difficult to imagine, a former sixth-round draft pick who has yet to see a significant amount of playtime in his first two seasons is one of the Bengals’ best-kept secrets.
Chris Evans has 35 offensive touches in his first two years in the NFL. Those touches resulted in 266 yards from scrimmage, three touchdowns, and an average of 7.6 yards per touch.
The former Wolverine running back has had his fair share of memorable plays with the team in the regular season and the playoffs.
The reason Evans hasn’t seen more of the field remains a closely guarded secret out of the reach of Bengals fans.
Instead of giving him more offensive snaps, the coaching staff has elected to reduce his role in the offense and increase his time as a kickoff returner.
Returning kicks was not a part of the evaluation when the decision was made to make Evans the 206th overall pick in the 2021 draft. Evans only had one return for 26 yards while at Michigan. Last year for the Bengals, Evans had 10 returns for an average of 21.1 yards. Fellow running back Trayveon Willams led the team averaging 22.3 yards per return on 16 attempts.
With Joe Mixon restructuring his contract, Williams re-signing, and Chase Brown being drafted, we could potentially see even less of Evans. This will either keep him as one of the best-kept secrets on Cincinnati’s roster or signal the end of his time in stripes despite his obvious talent.