Bengals WR Marvin Jones hasn't taken full part in a padded practice yet, instead slipping in with the second and third team gradually over the last week ever since Marvin Lewis challenged him to "find a way to get out there."
Wednesday against the Giants, Jones was out there and running with the first team. He took a hit in the back near the goal line, caught passes in traffic over the middle, he blocked, he sprinted and even took that cleat to the ribs that almost made his day.
"This is the last step, getting game action, to catch the ball, anticipate somebody hitting and eluding and trying to score," Jones said. "That's the last step of the progression and, I can't wait to do it."
Jones was one of our favorite sleepers last summer, but his season was derailed by an ankle injury. His 51 catches for 712 yards and 10 touchdowns resulted in the 3rd-highest FP/T in 2013. He’s poised to surprise if he can prove he’s fully healthy and win the starting job opposite A.J. Green. Mohamed Sanu played pretty well last season but he struggled with drops, and Jones was ahead of Sanu when disaster struck. Both players are free agents after the season, so this is one of the more interesting camp battles to monitor this summer. One thing to note -- Sanu only saw 5.2 targets in the 12 games in which Green played, so Cincinnati’s WR2 it wasn’t a high-volume role in OC Hue Jackson’s run-oriented offense, but Jackson said that he is planning to open things up a bit in 2015.