Non-starters typically refers to backups, bubbles players or anyone that's not regularly a starter. Perhaps you'd have figured that out on your own just by looking at the title, but we needed an introduction to segue into our list. That being said. Here's five players that we believed raised their stock following Cincinnati's loss to the Green Bay Packers [Note: In some cases it doesn't mean they'll make the team, only that their chances are better today than they were last week]
MARVIN JONES : At some point the Cincinnati Bengals have to give Marvin Jones some first-team looks. Brandon Tate and Armon Binns keep battling for the proposed No. 2 wide receiver spot, but it's been Jones that's been the highlight of the preseason on offense. However we should point out that Jones is playing against backups and bubble players, so the affect may appear misleading. But that's not a reason why he shouldn't be given the opportunity for a handful of first-team snaps.
Through three games Jones not only leads the team with 111 yards receiving, he's more than doubled the production of the the second-leading receiver. He also leads the team with 19 yards in punt returns (not that that is particularly encouraging) and scored his first receiving touchdown against the Green Bay Packers.
RODDRICK MUCKELROY : What can you say about Cincinnati's backup middle linebacker? He's clearly holding his own from the onslaught of Vontaze Burfict praise that for the second week in a row, Muckelroy finished either first or second on the team in tackles. Additionally Muck generated a quarterback sack and an additional hit on the quarterback against the Packers. I believe that Muckelroy and Burfict both make the team, but Muckelroy is the more polished player and remains Rey Maualuga's backup (for now).
DONTAY MOCH: Dontay Moch generated a quarterback sack against the Green Bay Packers Thursday night, giving him at least one sack in all three preseason games this year. He's also posted at least one additional hit on the quarterback that didn't result into a sack. It'll be interesting to see how the Cincinnati Bengals approach Moch, who will be serving a four-game suspension for using a banned substance to start the season.
VINCENT REY : The projected backup weak-side linebacker finished the game with a team-leading 10 tackles Thursday night against the Green Bay Packers. Rey was a motor working towards insurance to maintain his projected spot on the 53-man roster as Thomas Howard's backup.
NICK HAYDEN : Much like Rey, Hayden was around the football plenty Thursday night against Green Bay's backup and bubble players, leading the defensive line with five tackles. Though admittedly it's a long shot at best, he could be the fifth guy if the team decides to cut the injured Pat Sims and keep five defensive tackles.