Earlier on Saturday, I released a list of Bengals players who I thought helped themselves with their performance in Friday's preseason opener versus the Jets. Unfortunately, there's also a group of players who didn't help themselves in the game, and with a number of positions up for grabs, starters or backups, poor performances and/or major gaffes get noticed.
This isn't to say that I expect any of these players to get cut this week, but they will have an uphill battle to climb in order to get in good favor here. They still have a few weeks to make a statement, but first impressions mean a lot, as we all know.
Dan Herron: Herron was plugged in late in the game in relief of Brian Leonard and Cedric Peerman and didn't make much of his opportunities. He had four carries for eight yards, with his long gain of the night being six yards. Yikes. Now, four carries isn't much of a sample of what Herron could actually do, but the fact that he didn't make much hay against the Jets' scrub unit says quite a bit. He also didn't have a catch in the passing game, where backs usually get quite a few looks in preseason from a third-string quarterback. In short, many on Twitter last night noticed Herron's performance.
Jordan Shipley: This poor guy. He's been the subject of a lot of scrutiny this offseason and many are beginning to wonder if he's going to even make the squad this year. Not only did Andrew Hawkins come in as the starting slot receiver, but Shipley didn't enter until very late in the game. He only had one catch for four yards and had zero special teams impact. In fairness to Shipley, he didn't play with the first, or really second, team offense. It's possible that he will get more looks with Andy Dalton and the first team as the preseason goes on, but this isn't the first time he has struggled this preseason.
Emmanuel Lamur: It's not that he did something bad in the game, Lamur just didn't do anything special. It's a crowded position group that we saw many good plays from backups on Friday night. Dan Skuta, Roddrick Muckelroy, Dontay Moch and Vontaze Burfict all made some nice plays on Friday and could be pushing Lamur to the Practice Squad, as many think will be his ultimate destination. We will see if he bounces back and makes some plays in the future, but he appears to be buried right now.
Adam Jones: I'm going to preface this by saying that I think Jones makes the final roster. But, he's battling for time with other veterans in Nate Clements, Jason Allen and Terence Newman. Jones was in the game after the first unit and did decent enough, as no big plays were allowed, but he also didn't rack up any statistics. While the stat sheet doesn't always tell the story, Jones also didn't get an opportunity on special teams returns, either. It's possible that the team wanted to ease him back in because of a nagging injury he's had, but still a bigger impact was expected. It would seem that Jones' roster spot is still safe, but that's more of a testament to injuries to the position group, not so much because of Jones' stellar performance.
Colin Cochart: I know the coaches like what he brings to the table, but he didn't accrue any stats on Friday either. Jermaine Gresham and Donald Lee both played in front of him and Orson Charles had an impressive, albeit six-yard, reception in late duty. The team will likely keep three with Gresham being a lock. They seem to like Lee's veteran leadership and Charles' upside, so where does Cochart fit in with blocking as his main leg to stand on? I find it hard to believe that the team would give up on Charles, who was a fourth-round pick, so the last spot seems to come down to Lee and Cochart.