Mark Zerof-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
What are the options for the Cincinnati Bengals, who are heading into week six with only three running backs?
The Cincinnati Bengals announced on Monday that Bernard Scott was placed on Injured Reserve after suffering a reported ACL injury during the team's 17-13 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. On one hand the move is beneficial, opening a spot on the 53-man roster for returning linebacker (and defensive end) Dontay Moch. On the other hand any unrealized philosophies of having a duel running back scenario with BenJarvus Green-Ellis are indefinitely shelved. Not that there was much promise with said visions, based on the lack of production from BenJarvus Green-Ellis and the season-long history of Scott's injuries.
It weighs a decision however on what to do now.
Bengals Could Do Nothing And Go With Three
According to Geoff Hobson at Bengals.com, "there are indications" that the Bengals could go with three running backs this weekend against the Cleveland Browns, essentially acting as if Bernard Scott was out during his respective hand and ankle injuries. In that regard nothing has changed.
Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis confirmed the status quo for the meantime at his Monday press conference saying, "Do it with guys we got until we find somebody else."
During the three games that Bernard Scott was out, the Bengals averaged 29 rushing attempts with BenJarvus Green-Ellis taking 75 percent of those snaps. Andy Dalton is second on the team with 18 total runs this season (sneaks, draws and scrambles), followed by Brian Leonard (6), Cedric Peerman (5), Andrew Hawkins (3) and A.J. Green (1).
Which basically means, nothing changes.
Take A Look At Free Agency
If they're not comfortable with the backups behind Green-Ellis, and let's face it, Green-Ellis is going to get the bulk of the carries anyway, they could take a peak at free agency. Some names out there include, Joseph Addai, Tim Hightower, Steve Slaton, Carnell Williams, Thomas Jones, Maurice Morris and Jerious Norwood.
Yet the consistent theme among most free agent running backs this time of the year is that no one wants them. Their age and the condition of their bodies, having dealt with serious injuries or already declined after years of violent collisions in the NFL, are at this point completely undesirable, no matter the state of a team's roster. Still. It's highly unlikely they'll be asked to carry the football more than five times in a game.
The Bengals could always revisit players previously on the team's roster earlier this year like Aaron Brown.
Daniel Herron Promotion From The Practice Squad
Despite Cincinnati drafting Daniel Herron in the sixth round of the 2012 NFL draft, we're not envisioning the team promoting Boom from the practice squad unless there's an injury to Peerman or Leonard and they need someone yesterday. If everyone progresses up the perpetual ladder, that means the No. 4 running back will have significant special teams duties because there's only so many spots on the active 53-man roster.
Another name to think about is Jourdan Brooks, who played a duel role as a fullback and running back, generating 18 carries and two receptions for 31 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown. We'll just file that under long shot.