In our most recent not-prediction posting, declaring the players that we figure as "locks" to make the team, we didn't lock in a fullback, saying that our tight ends could be used as de facto fullbacks -- especially between Reggie Kelly and Daniel Coats. And with as much three-receiver formations they used with the first team offense against the Bills, often putting Reggie Kelly into motion towards the point of attack, it makes you believe that the Bengals could forgo the use of a natural fullback entirely.
The evidence mounts while the Bengals are thinking about it.
“Once Fui got hurt in camp we had to have Plan B so the second plan would be to have the tight ends play fullback …,” offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski said. “I don’t know that it would limit you greatly but the hardest thing for the tight ends playing fullback is the downhill isolation blocks. A lot of the other things that we do are easy enough for them to do. It would affect your goal line and short-yardage probably quite a bit.”
Even so, the Bengals tend to use their bigger packages in short-yardage or obvious-rushing situations, placing two offensive tackles side-by-side on one side of the line while a tight end lines up with a guard on the opposite end. Or they simply bring in Dennis Roland as an eligible receiver and place him on either side where a tight end would normally line up.