Bengals Roster: Realistic expectations for Chidobe Awuzie in 2023

Awuzie signed with the Bengals in 2021
Sep 25, 2022; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Chidobe Awuzie (22)
Sep 25, 2022; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Chidobe Awuzie (22) / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

In the 2021 offseason, the Cincinnati Bengals took a chance on signing Chidobe Awuzie, hoping that he'd rebound from a lackluster 2020 season and look more like his 2019 self. The gamble paid off.

In 2021, which was Awuzie's first year in Cincinnati, he finished the season with a sparkling PFF grade of 83.3, including an 84.2 coverage grade. His postseason grades weren't anything to brag about but Awuzie showed up big in the regular season.

He was on track for another stellar year in 2022 but unfortunately was injured at the halfway mark of the season. Before going down, Awuzie had a PFF grade of 69.9.

What should Bengals fans expect from Chidobe Awuzie in 2023?

Fortunately, Awuzie was present at training camp from Day 1. This hopefully means that he could be on track to play in Week 1 against the Browns but if he can't, the Bengals should be in good hands with D.J. Turner stepping up to play in his spot instead.

Once Awuzie is healthy enough to play, he'll be the starter. He's been an amazing addition to this secondary since joining the team two years ago and with this being the final year of his contract, the Bengals are going to want to get him out there as much as possible.

With this being the final year of Awuzie's contract, he has a major incentive to go out there and play the best ball of his life. Considering he'll turn 29 next May, the Bengals might not be down to re-sign him but if Turner plays well this year, they might not need to bring back Awuzie.


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What fans can expect from Awuzie this year, assuming he's the same player he was before the injury, is that he'll be terrific in coverage and a strong leader in a young secondary. If it takes him some time to bounce back from his injury, however, the decision to draft Turner will look even more brilliant.