5 candidates who could lead the Bengals in rushing yards in 2023

  • Could a newcomer lead the Bengals in rushing yards?
  • Will Joe Mixon be the leading rusher?
  • Could rookie Chase Brown hold the title by the end of the season?
Cincinnati Bengals v Detroit Lions
Cincinnati Bengals v Detroit Lions / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages
2 of 4

3 and 4 (or is it 4 and 3?) Trayveon Williams and Chris Evans

Since arriving in Cincinnati via the sixth round of the 2019 draft, Trayveon Williams has yet to see extended action in the offensive backfield. He has carried the ball 47 times for 238 yards in his four years with the club. With Samaje Perine now in Denver, this appeared to be his moment to increase his workload. 

Cincinnati has drafted two more running backs since 2019, Chris Evans and Chase Brown. Now there is tough competition to see who will be the number two running back behind Mixon. 

Chris Evans, a former sixth-round selection himself, is heading into his third year in the NFL. He had 17 rushing attempts for 77 yards in the previous two seasons, all of which came in his rookie season. He has primarily been used as a receiver out of the backfield, recording 18 receptions for 189 yards and three touchdowns over the past two seasons.

In their six combined years with the Bengals, Evans and Williams have combined for 64 rushing attempts for 315 yards. With Perine gone and a fifth-round rookie in the fold, this appears to be the best opportunity for Williams or Evans to take the next step and become the team’s primary backup. 

Whoever earns the backup position between Evans, Williams, and Chase Brown will be the second-most likely back to lead the team in rushing yards. It will surely be a competition that continues well into the regular season and beyond. Ultimately, however, look for the next guy on the list to be the ultimate winner of the Joe Mixon backup sweepstakes.