Tyrone Goard's difficult journey to the 53-man roster

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

College free agent Tyrone Goard is one of seven players fighting for two spots on the 53-man roster.

Moments following the 2013 NFL draft, EKU wide receiver Tyrone Goard, who posted 900 yards receiving and eight touchdowns during his senior season, elected to sign with the Cincinnati Bengals as a college free agent. One of the biggest reasons he signed with the Bengals was that he calls the area home.

"A lot of the EKU students are from this area and they'll be my number one fans. I'm from West Virginia so I'm right in the triangle. I'm right at home basically."

Goard participated during the team's rookie minicamp in May, but suffered an injury that required surgery on his hand forcing him to miss the team's offseason training program. The procedure landed Goard onto the team's Physically Unable to Perform list at the start of training camp.

When the Bengals put on the big-boy pads on Sunday with the highly-anticipated Oklahoma drill on tap, Goard dressed up. And he was ready for it. "If the (coach) wants me to go against James Harrison, I'm going to do it."

He didn't.

However, Goard did win both of his matchups during the Oklahoma drill on Sunday, besting cornerbacks Dre Kirkpatrick and Terrence Brown.

Now that's over, Goard intends to learn as much as possible from wide receiver A.J. Green.

"Me and A.J. are about the same body size so I'm just trying to learn tips on how to get in and out of my routes and catch at the best of my abilities."

Considering that his road to make the 53-man roster is extremely difficult, Goard is realistically fighting for a spot on the team's practice squad. You have to figure that Green, Mohamed Sanu, Marvin Jones, and Andrew Hawkins are locks, leaving two openings for Goard, Cobi Hamilton, Roy Roundtree, Taveon Rogers, Ryan Whalen, Brandon Tate, and Dane Sanzenbacher, who has had a decent performance during camp.

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