A 2-3 start to the season is not ideal and not what Cincinnati Bengals fans were imagining coming off a Super Bowl run. It's hard to believe that this is the same team that won the division when you watch them, at least on the offensive end.
Their schedule only gets harder as the season progresses (as the Bucs, Bills, and Chiefs are all on the backend of this season) and they've now missed two crucial opportunities in just five games to establish a footing in the AFC North.
The time to stack wins is now with such a harsh second half of the season, so here are some players who we could see more of and make that happen.
I don't think it's farfetched to say that we may be dealing with some injuries at the wide receiver position. We've already seen Tee Higgins, who has been the most productive so far with Ja'Marr Chase constantly being double-teamed, play a very limited number of snaps vs. the Ravens after an ankle sprain, as well as leave the Steelers game with a concussion.
Mike Thomas is the first one off the bench when an injury occurs to the receiving core and I wouldn't be surprised if we see that happen more than we already have this season. Hopefully not, but you never know.
Last season, Thomas had just five catches for 52 yards, large in part due to the Bengals being fortunate enough to not deal with any significant injuries among their wide receivers last year. This year, at the time of my writing this, he's already racked up 38 yards, the bulk of that coming this past Sunday night against the Ravens where he grabbed one catch for 33 yards.
Though, the snap count paints a better story. Last year, had 142 snaps on offense the whole season. This year, that number is already up to 128 through just five games, and if this ankle injury continues to nag at Higgins, he'll probably surpass last year's total by a wide margin.
Even without injuries, I would love to see Thomas develop and get out on the field some more on offense to give opposing defenses another weapon on offense to worry about. It could pave the way for him, or one of the main three receivers, to have big games.