The Bengals lined up rookie wide receiver Tyler Boyd in a variety of ways during practice and while he has yet to catch an NFL regular-season pass the Bengals can celebrate Boyd’s ascension into the derby to start opposite A.J. Green in New Jersey on Sept. 11.
“A lot of guys are in that category,” said wide receivers coach James Urban as the staff continues to respond to the off-season departures of the nearly combined 1,000 yards and 100 catches accumulated by Sanu and Marvin Jones last season.
But with seven-year veteran Brandon LaFell returning to practice this week with a damaged ligament in his hand after a 10-day absence, Boyd is the unquestioned leader in the clubhouse as they get set to gauge LaFell in Sunday’s dress rehearsal in Jacksonville.
“We have to see how he transitions through,” said offensive coordinator Ken Zampese.
Also making a push is one of the best stories of the year in James Wright. Wright, the 2014 seventh-rounder from LSU, is coming back from a 21-month layoff as he tries to rebound from the most dangerous of procedures, a micro fracture knee surgery.
Thursday, July 28, 2016, 2:22pm
The Bengals reported to Paul Brown Stadium Thursday and as five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Green began his sixth training camp without offseason workout partner Calvin Johnson in the league, he says he’s one of a group of about five vying to replace Johnson as the NFL’s best wide receiver.
Green says he’s not surprised Johnson retired after just nine seasons in the league at age 30. After all, he told Green a couple of offseasons ago that he only had about two or three years left in him.
And there are other concerns. Green and wife Miranda are expecting their first child Sept. 30, a son named Easton Ace Green.
Green, who turns 28 Sunday, said he’d like to play anywhere between 11-15 seasons if he’s still performing at a top level, the story said.
Andy Dalton is back to zipping the ball. He’s got no restrictions with his throwing thumb; he’s got one visit under his belt to passing specialist Dr. Tom House last month, and after watching two of his most established targets leave via free agency he got one back with a Super Bowl ring and knows Pro Bowlers A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert are already here.
“It would be tougher if it was my first or second year, but this is year six,” Dalton says Monday from Dallas of his revamped receiving corps. “It’s easier for me now than early on in my career. That is going to be fun. We’ve got these guys from the start; we’ve got to get them exactly where we want them to be.
The two guys who lockered next to him and meant so much to the passing game won’t be here two weeks from Monday when the Bengals gather for offseason workouts. Wide receiver Marvin Jones turned down at least the same $40 million to go to Detroit and Mohamed Sanu got No. 2 money in Atlanta when a No. 4 role loomed in Cincinnati.
Friday, December 18, 2015, 6:32pm
Bengals TE Tyler Eifert (concussion, out) has been ruled out for Week 15. Eifert’s absence means that A.J. Green and Marvin Jones are a bit more attractive, though the loss of Andy Dalton doesn’t help.
Friday, December 11, 2015, 6:22pm
Bengals TE Tyler Eifert (neck, probable) took full practice reps again Friday and is probable for Week 14. He’s the #2 TE in the league in PPG, so he’s pretty much a must-start if he’s healthy. His return is a downgrade for A.J. Green and Marvin Jones, but Andy Dalton gets a small bump given Eifert’s effectiveness in the red zone.
Thursday, December 10, 2015, 6:31pm
Bengals TE Tyler Eifert (neck) took full practice reps Thursday after being limited Wednesday. Eifert says he is “on track to play Sunday” and was a “full go” on Thursday. He’s the #2 TE in the league in PPG, so he’s pretty much a must-start if he’s healthy. His return is a downgrade for A.J. Green and Marvin Jones, but Andy Dalton gets a small bump given Eifert’s effectiveness in the red zone.
Wednesday, December 9, 2015, 6:33pm
Bengals TE Tyler Eifert (neck) took limited practice reps Wednesday. Eifert says he is “on track to play Sunday.” He’s the #2 TE in the league in PPG, so he’s pretty much a must-start if he’s healthy. His return is a downgrade for A.J. Green and Marvin Jones, but Andy Dalton gets a small bump given Eifert’s effectiveness in the red zone.
Friday, December 4, 2015, 6:28pm
Bengals TE Tyler Eifert (neck, doubtful) missed practice all week and is doubtful for Week 13. Eifert is still recovering from a Week 12 stinger. Owners should make other plans. A.J. Green and Marvin Jones may see more looks in the red zone with Eifert sidelined.
Re-introduce yourself to the Bengals’ latest X-Factor because they’ve got a lot of them on offense.
Since 2013, here are Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton’s numbers when wide receiver Marvin Jones is paired opposite Pro Bowler A.J Green:
A 62.6 completion percentage at 7.6 yards per attempts for 41 TDs and 21 picks and a passer rating of 93.2. That’s compared to career numbers of 61.8 percent, 7.1 yards per attempts and an 86.7 rating.
And in games they combine for a TD since 2013, like they did in Sunday’s 28-24 victory in Baltimore, the Bengals are 8-1.
Jones is fast, tough, has great hands and defenses have to treat him almost as delicately as Green. On Sunday’s first drive he made a nice leaping catch on third-and-six when Dalton let him come back for it on the left sideline for a 32-yard play. And his one-handed catch on the last drive down the right sideline when he fried cornerback Kyle Arrington for 31 yards is now a part of Bengals lore.
Friday, September 25, 2015, 7:02pm
Bengals WR A.J. Green (knee, probable) took full practice reps again Friday and is probable for Week 3. Green should be fine to face the Ravens. Throughout his career he has been a stud at home, but he’s even better on the road.
Thursday, September 24, 2015, 6:16pm
Bengals WR A.J. Green (knee) returned to full practice reps Thursday after missing Wednesday. Green should be fine to face the Ravens. Throughout his career he has been a stud at home, but he’s even better on the road.
Wednesday, September 23, 2015, 6:12pm
A.J. Green is the latest game-changing wide receiver to earn a substantial pay raise. With the Bengals' regular-season opener just two days away, the 27-year-old has agreed to a four-year, $60 million extension, reports CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora.
Green, who was in the final year of his rookie deal, joins Julio Jones, Demaryius Thomas and Dez Bryant, all wideouts receiving new contracts in the weeks leading up to the 2015 season. Jones signed a five-year, $71 million deal while Bryant and Thomas inked five-year, $70 million deal. The specifics -- like guaranteed money and yearly payments -- of Green's contract remain unknown at this time.
This doesn't have much fantasy impact, though Green should be happy with his new deal.
Saturday, August 8, 2015, 12:58pm
Yes, those are his initials. But they also signify "running back," the position Burkhead has played since he was drafted three years ago, and the one his superiors contend remains his position.
"He's a running back," offensive coordinator Hue Jackson said, smiling.
Added head coach Marvin Lewis with his own grin: "He's not a wide receiver."
"I'm just filling in whatever way I can," Burkhead said. "If something does happen like that in the season, I can hopefully fill that void and not miss a beat with the offense."
Before Jones' absences, the lean receiver had been featured him as the No. 2 wide out opposite Pro Bowl receiver A.J. Green. With Jones and Green on the outside, Mohamed Sanu had been getting the bulk of slot receiver duties in base three-receiver schemes.
Perhaps Burkhead is a guy to keep an eye on as camp progresses. The story said although Burkhead still has gotten his share of snaps from the backfield as a true running back, he also has lined up often in this training camp at receiver. Specifically, he's lined up in the slot, where he has been consistently matched up with safeties and corners, and he caught passes after pulling away from them on various routes. With receiver Marvin Jones out the past four practices with a sore hamstring, Burkhead has shifted into a more regular role in the slot.
If Bengals QB Andy Dalton has the kind of year that OC Hue Jackson envisions, it’s because he’ll be a point guard executing some pretty exotic stuff. After his first season was marred by injuries to both starting wide receivers and a starting tight end, Jackson is itching to unload some Xs and Os.
“We're going to open Pandora's box more,” Jackson said. “We tickled it a little bit last year. We're going to open it up a little bit more this year and be who I think we can be…But I tell you what, the defenses are so good, the defensive players are so good and they disguise all the time, why can't we? It's a chess match, and whoever is not afraid to pull the trigger, pull the trigger. And I'm not afraid, so let's go.”
“I tell people all the time -- close, personal friends of mine -- that was probably my best coaching job. To not have A.J. Green. To not have Tyler Eifert. To not have a healthy Jermaine Gresham to start the season. You lose Kevin Zeitler for a couple games,” Jackson said. “We mixed and matched pretty well last year. Not to the best of what we could have been, but we did a decent job. Obviously a healthy Cincinnati Bengal offensive football team has a chance to be very dynamic….If we can stay healthy, some of those hardened times can turn into some good times.”
Jackson went run-heavy in 2014, which is typical of his style, but we shouldn't ignore the possibility that a healthy A.J. Green, Marvin Jones and Tyler Eifert could lead to the Bengals taking a more balanced approach in 2015. They were the 5th-most run-heavy team last season after finishing middle-of-the-pack in that category under then-OC Jay Gruden the year before. If Jackson does in fact call more pass plays, it can only help Dalton's fantasy prospects.
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