The Bengals' second-round pick out of Nebraska spent the better part of the first six weeks of the season on Injured Reserve, finally seeing action in Week 7 against the Falcons where he came in for just under 30 snaps. It seemed that'd be about the standard for Taylor-Britt in his rookie season, let him see the field and get a feel for the game but mostly relegate playing time to the starters, like Awuzie and Apple.
But sometimes things don't always work out as planned, because in their next game on Halloween night against their in-state rivals, star cornerback Chidobe Awuzie got injured and eventually was declared out for the season with a torn ACL. This instantly meant more playing time for Taylor-Britt, and, in the weeks since, he's not only shown improvement but flashed a lot of his potential.
Of course, he hasn't been perfect, making a good bit of mistakes in coverage and sometimes struggling with tackling, but that is expected for a rookie. Even with some struggles, he's shown a lot of growth since his first start, especially in the last few games. Although it'd still result in a touchdown, chasing Derrick Henry all the way to within the five and knocking the ball out was one heck of a play from the kid, and he had easily his best performance yet this past week, having two huge PBU (pass break-ups) to keep the Browns from scoring.
Assuming he continues to improve and grow, Cam Taylor-Britt has a bright future with the Bengals outside of starting behind Apple, Awuzie, and Hilton.
Samaje Perine (and Trayveon Williams)
One reason the Bengals are on this impressive win streak is the fact that the running game has come alive. It started with a dominating performance by Joe Mixon against the Panthers, it hit a little bit of a lull in the win over the Steelers-- a game in which Mixon suffered a concussion early on-- and then picked back up for the last few games.
Perine deserves a lot of praise for this. After making his impact felt through the air vs. Pittsburgh, a game in which he had three receiving touchdowns, Perine's impact spread to the ground game in their following game against the Titans, where he recorded nearly 60 yards rushing and a touchdown, before following it up with an even better performance vs. the Chiefs, having just his third career game (first with the Bengals) where he topped 100 yards on the ground.
The former Sooner stepped up when the other former Sooner had to sit for a few weeks, and, while Mixon cemented himself as RB1 in Cincinnati with a solid performance against the Browns this past week, Perine will likely have his number called again this season, and I'm sure he'll deliver when he's given the opportunity.
Though, let's not forget about Trayveon Williams either. Like Trenton Irwin, Williams came along in 2019 (albeit he was actually drafted in the sixth-round and has always been with the Bengals) however has seen scarcely any playing time the last few seasons. Again-- like Irwin-- that changed this year. Although most of his snaps have come on special teams, where he's filled in for Chris Evans as the main returner on kicks (something Williams is solid at) he's had a couple of good plays lined up as running back during those few weeks where Mixon was out.
His most notable plays were the big runs against the Titans and Steelers + a big reception for 24 yards, also against the Titans, that helped seal the game. Williams has been solid and is another nice depth piece at a position that is loaded with them.