Even though he didn't play against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Bengals safety Taylor Mays was placed on the 46-man active roster for the first time in his Bengals career last week. Marvin Lewis indicated late last week that if Mays is activated, he's going to play because he says it "is a big waste". Mays was active for the second time this season against the Indianapolis Colts, mostly in a special teams capacity. And with over 10 minutes remaining in the third quarter, he made his first tackle with the Cincinnati Bengals on coverage during a kickoff.
Cedric Benson pounded the football from the one-yard line into the endzone, giving the Bengals a 17-7 lead. After the successful point after touchdown, the coverage team lined up to the left and right of kickoff specialist Mike Nugent. The football dropped on Indianapolis' 15-yard line, scooped by kickoff returner Joe Lefeged at the four-yard line. Mays avoided blocks and squeezed through a handful of Colts blockers, crossing the 15-yard line as Lefeged approached the ten-yard line. Mays' amazing speed didn't go unnoticed by Lefeged, who stopped at the 11-yard line with Mays breaking down.
Lefeged hoped that Mays would over-shoot the attempted tackle, choosing to stop in his tracks. Mays didn't bite, using his arm's length to grab Lefeged on the back of the jersey and twisting him to the ground as Brian Leonard, Andrew Hawkins, Vincent Rey and Jeromy Miles converged on Mays' tackle at the Colts 12-yard line. Indianapolis didn't move the football on their ensuing offensive possession, forced to punt after a three-and-out. The Bengals drove 56 yards on 11 plays, capped with a Mike Nugent 43-yard field goal to give the Bengals a 20-7 lead.
Mays' play itself wasn't big in the grande scheme of things. But it was good to see Mays make a contribution this season.