Another concerning stat unnoticed initially noticed by broadcasters until well after the change was made was 17 snaps at left tackle from Cody Ford. He accounted for 31% of the snaps at left tackle.
While nothing egregious happened with his reps filling in for Orlando Brown, Ford taking over at left tackle at that moment speaks to another issue.
D’Ante Smith, who is still on the 53-man roster, lest you forget, was inactive on Sunday. The former fourth-round selection has yet to get a real opportunity to play critical snaps. Brown being sidelined would have been a perfect opportunity for Smith to fill in and show how he can perform.
Even more disappointing than Smith not being activated was that Jackson Carman was. The former second-round draft pick out of Clemson has had his struggles on the field. However, some thought he could be turning the corner after an encouraging late-season run at left tackle last year. Even though he was active and available, Carman was apparently overtaken on the depth chart by Ford.
According to Zac Taylor, Ford was brought in to compete for the right tackle spot. It was abundantly clear in the preseason that he was not suited for that role. The team quickly moved him into a backup guard role, which also did not appear particularly promising in the preseason games.
Nevertheless, the coaching staff remained steadfast in supporting Ford, and he landed on the 53-man roster. Since then, he has gone from backup guard to the first left tackle off the bench. Congratulations to him.
However, the fact that Ford was in that position rather than Carman or Smith is disappointing from a roster construction and draft evaluation standpoint. We must hope Brown’s injury is fully healed after the bye week. Ford playing at tackle versus San Francisco’s defensive line led by Nick Bosa is something Cincinnati fans would not look forward to watching.
One last note on this is that the team’s official depth chart means absolutely nothing.