Bengals rookie wide receiver Mohamed Sanu posted his first career reception in the NFL against the Steelers last week, and equaled his season-long participation in one game.
Wide receiver Armon Binns sat last weekend against the Pittsburgh Steelers with an ankle, the same game that resulted in Marvin Jones sporting a knee brace early this week, moving around with crutches. Even Andrew Hawkins was dealing with a back last week, missing part of Wednesday's practice. All told it doesn't help with the cloud of injury, that the reignited question asking for the No. 2 wide receiver to stand up surfaces.
So why not Mohamed Sanu?
According to Geoff Hobson with Bengals.com, the answer is frustratingly simple. They didn't have a baseline to use him with, as Jay Gruden simply offers, "We're still getting to know Mo". Before half the city freaks out with rants that "these coaches are terrible", quickly dissolving into a tiresome diatribe during a season in which only three AFC teams have more wins than the Bengals, note that the issue is more complimentary.
And he finally might be rising.
During his first four career games, sitting out during both games against Cleveland, Sanu recorded only 18 combined offensive snaps. Then on Sunday against the Steelers, with the position taking on several injuries, Sanu posted his first career reception while totally his season-long snap distribution.
"Mo brings a certain skill set to the table and by all accounts he's proven himself worthy of the opportunity and so has Hawkins," Urban says. "Whether they're on the field at the same time or we're rotating him at inside slot receiver or they're both at outside receiver and A.J.'s inside, we're going to try and put them into positions to make plays."
Sanu caught every targeted pass during Sunday's loss, including a team-high 17-yard reception early in the third quarter. It's quite possible we're starting to see Sanu develop into a more productive receiver with far greater participation. At this rate, what do the Bengals have to lose?