Casual fans of the Cincinnati Bengals probably haven't thought too much about Chase Brown this season. After all, why would they? The fifth-round rookie running back has only appeared in six games this season and has just two carries for six yards and three receptions for seven yards.
The Bengals stuck Brown on IR at the end of October and he returned to the active roster right before the Steelers game. He was active for the game but had zero snaps in his return, per Football Guys.
The Bengals only ran the ball 11 times in their Sunday afternoon loss to the Steelers and the only two players to carry the rock were Joe Mixon and Jake Browning. Brown nor Trayveon Williams even made it onto the field for a carry. What is the point of having backup running backs if the Bengals aren't going to utilize them?
Why spend a draft pick on a running back that they don't plan to use? Sure, a fifth-round running back isn't going to be a game-changer right off the bat but the Bengals won't know what he can add to the team moving forward if they don't give him a chance.
While speaking to the media on Monday, Zac Taylor and Brian Callahan offered their reasoning for why Brown didn't get on the field in his return to the team.
Chase Brown not utilized due to pass protection woes
If Taylor and Callahan are being truthful, they opted not to throw Brown out on the field for this game because of the Bengals' pass protection situation. They didn't want their rookie to be overwhelmed out there.
I understand that mentality, I do, but why not put Brown out there to run the ball? That's what he's good at, after all. He doesn't have to be used in pass protection when he's out there, especially if he's already not being utilized much.
This has been a frustrating season for the Cincinnati Bengals but what was even more frustrating on Sunday was that the offense kept giving the ball or targeting players who aren't going to be in the future plans. It's time to focus on the younger guys and see what they can offer this team moving forward.