There are certain Cincinnati Bengals position groups that we hate to see get hit by the injury bug (quarterback, linebacker, offensive line). While you never want anyone to get hurt, it is comforting as a fan to know that an injury to a position group won’t have you popping a Zantac.
So we took a look at the Bengals’ roster and found two places where the team has some serious depth. These are the groups that can survive a few dings in 2017.
Deepest Cincinnati Bengals Offensive Position Group – Wide Receiver
Fast forward to this year. Green is healthy and ready to go. Tyler Boyd had a fine rookie campaign (54 catches, 603 yards) and has a high ceiling. He’s ready to take the next step in his career. Brandon LaFell averaged 13.5 yards per reception. Draft picks John Ross and Josh Malone and second-year man Cody Core are impressing so far.
Them, plus several youngsters and pass-catching tight end Tyler Eifert, means one thing. This group is deep enough that you can put diving boards over it.
Deepest Cincinnati Bengals Defensive Position Group – Defensive Tackle
A lot of good DTs on your roster means you can rotate guys frequently. Keep them fresh. Withstand the rigors of a 16-game season. Oh, and stay in the face of the other team’s offense.
The good news for Cincy is they have the personnel to improve on their 21st-ranked rushing defense from last fall. Geno Atkins and Pat Sims are the veterans who bring seven and nine years of experience, respectively. Atkins consistently attracts double teams, notched nine sacks last year and is a disrupter.
The team has high hopes this season for Andrew Billings who was projected as a 1st or 2nd round draft pick in the 2016 draft but fell into the Bengals lap in the 4th round before missing his entire rookie season due to injury. DeShawn Williams is only in his second year out of Clemson, but is a 6’1” 295-lb Geno Atkins-like bowling ball who is tough to push around. Brandon Thompson is back after missing all of 2016 with an ACL tear, further adding to the depth. Marcus Hardison has looked impressive the past 2 preseasons but hasn’t been able to stay healthy to impact the regular season, throw in 2017 fourth round draft pick Ryan Glasgow out of Michigan and you can see the wealth of young talent this team will have competing to make the roster in training camp and the preseason.
Things are looking good for these two position groups. And if they are able to do their jobs well, things will look a lot better for the rest of the team.