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Marvin Jones getting time at punt returner at Bengals minicamp

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Jed Jacobsohn

The Bengals may be willing to keep the incumbent Brandon Tate as the the top punt returner again this year, but they're also giving some new players a chance to unseat him.

Per Geoff Hobson, special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons has been giving a variety of players looks at punt returner, including third-year receiver Marvin Jones

To catch punts special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons sent back incumbent Brandon Tate, wide receiver Marvin Jones, and cornerback Adam Jones in that order. Also back there were wide receivers Jasper Collins, a first-year player just claimed from Piittsburgh, and Colin Lockett, a rookie free agent from San Diego State.

Just before the drill ended, head coach Marvin Lewis called over rookie free-agent running back Jeff Scott to catch one after he worked on other aspects of punt cover and return.

Jones was a decent returner for the Cal Golden Bears in college with 14 career punt returns for 102 yards, all as a senior, and a long of 37 against USC.

This is something to keep in mind, as Jasper Collins, Jeff Scott and Colin Lockett are all long-shots to make the 53-man roster, let alone the gameday 46-man roster.

The Bengals don't appear ready to decide if Adam Jones will remain at cornerback full-time, in which case it's unlikely he'd get a lot of action as a returner.

Jones could be in for a more expanded role entering his third NFL season, including some looks as a returner.