Once the team announces their 53-man roster and sets the all-important depth chart, things are primed for change. It's like driving a new car off the lot; the value changes, and changes dramatically. Players suffer injuries. Some are released to make room for players that were signed to replace those injured. Or maybe someone just doesn't work out as anticipated. Let's take a look at the team's depth chart and how it has changed since final cuts.
Dennis Roland. With the uncertainty surrounding Andrew Whitworth's knee, Roland returned to Cincinnati as an added layer of depth. Anthony Collins started for Whitworth against Chicago and rotated against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Ironically, Collins is now dealing with a knee injury, securing Roland for another week or two. But as Whitworth and Collins recover, and Hawkinson develops, Roland could be a player that the team eventually releases to make room for another. The dynamics of roster maintenance.
Vinnie Rey. With Sean Porter and Emmanuel Lamur suffering season-ending injuries, the Bengals have yet to replace them. Instead, they're using Taylor Mays more in a linebacker role with Vinnie Rey defined as the backup middle and weakside linebacker. At least on paper.
Brandon Ghee. With a concussion further disrupting an otherwise disappointing career, the Bengals punted Ghee to third left cornerback and replaced him with Dre Kirkpatrick. Then Kirkpatrick, following Ghee's path as an oft-injured cornerback, is dealing with a hamstring, decreasing the number of body parts that haven't been injured in only his second season.
Curtis Marsh. Joined the team because Ghee and Kirkpatrick are sidelined, making the cornerback position extremely fragile. However, if Marsh produces, Ghee's career in Cincinnati could be in jeopardy. First, he'll need to conclude concussion protocols before the team is allowed to release him -- or they come to an agreement on an injury settlement.
Margus Hunt. Moved up the depth chart after Robert Geathers suffered a season-ending elbow injury. Could make his NFL debut this weekend against the Green Bay Packers.
Shawn Williams. When the team released Jeromy Miles, they moved Williams from the third-string strong safety to the backup free safety behind Reggie Nelson. But honestly, there's no difference between strong and free safety in Mike Zimmer's system.
|QB||Andy Dalton||Josh Johnson|
|RB||BenJarvus Green-Ellis||Giovani Bernard||Cedric Peerman
|WR1||A.J. Green||Brandon Tate||Dane Sanzenbacher|
|WR2||Mohamed Sanu||Marvin Jones||Ryan Whalen|
|TE||Jermaine Gresham||Tyler Eifert||Alex Smith|
|LT||Andrew Whitworth||Anthony Collins|
|LG||Clint Boling||Mike Pollak|
|C||Kyle Cook||Trevor Robinson|
|RG||Kevin Zeitler||Tanner Hawkinson|
|RT||Andre Smith||Dennis Roland|
|RDE||Michael Johnson||Wallace Gilberry|
|DT||Geno Atkins||Devon Still|
|NT||Domata Peko||Brandon Thompson|
|LDE||Carlos Dunlap||Margus Hunt|
|MLB||Rey Maualuga||Vinnie Rey|
|WLB||Vontaze Burfict||Vinnie Rey|
|SLB||James Harrison||Jayson DiManche|
|RCB||Leon Hall||Adam Jones||Curtis Marsh|
|LCB||Terence Newman||Dre Kirkpatrick||Brandon Ghee|
|SS||George Iloka||Taylor Mays|
|FS||Reggie Nelson||Shawn Williams||Jeromy Miles|
|KR||Brandon Tate||Adam Jones||Giovani Bernard
|PR||Adam Jones||Brandon Tate||Dane Sanzenbacher