After losing the punting job to veteran Kevin Huber, Drue Chrisman could make his debut for the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 11.
Chrisman was stashed on the Bengals' squad last year and he entered his second year with the opportunity to win starting punting duties in 2022. The Ohio State product and Huber battled it out this offseason in a classic showdown between a seasoned veteran and an up-and-coming star, and Chrisman ultimately lost after a neck-to-neck preseason competition.
With Huber severely underperforming in the first half of the season, however, Chrisman could get another chance to secure the punting job for himself.
Chrisman reportedly took first reps for special teams on Wednesday and appears primed to take the reins from Huber this season.
Bengals' Drue Chrisman could usurp Kevin Huber for punting duties in 2022
Huber has punted for the Bengals for over a decade, and the long-time vet embodies a heartwarming, hometown hero who has written himself into Cincy's record books.
Ever since he was drafted by the Bengals in 2009, Huber has averaged 45.3 yards per punt with a long of 75. Following a strong start to the 2022 season, Huber has nonetheless declined in form, averaging 41.08 yards per punt in his last three games and struggling to give the Bengals ideal field position.
Special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons recently expressed disappointment regarding Huber's performance this year, saying the "punting game has to change" and that they "have to do what's right for the team."
Given that Chrisman was given the first-team nod in Wednesday's practice reps, the changing of the guard seems more imminent than ever, and the second-year punter could get his first NFL start against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.
Cincinnati already has its hands full with Evan McPherson underperforming of late. Making a change at punter could disrupt the team dynamic, but the Bengals could also benefit greatly from a fresh leg in the mix.