The beat goes on for the Bengals as they convincingly thumped the Bills in Orchard Park on Sunday 34 to 21. The rookies, while not gathering significant time on the field, were able to peek their heads out occasionally during the game. Time will tell during the upcoming bye week if injuries could lead to more of a time stamp for the Bengals' rookies.
Let's go inside the limited snaps and see what newbies were able to do this past weekend.
Jake Fisher - Stock Even
Our favorite big boy receiver threat was given a chance at making a catch on Sunday, but failed to haul it in as he dropped a first half Dalton throw on a short slant. Fisher continues to be a minimally used weapon in Hue Jackson's bag of tricks, but even minimal use for an offensive tackle is something. The playing time for Fisher overall continues to come in sporadically logging only eight snaps in the regular formation. But he is a part of a line that continues to dominate week in and week out as they held the fearsome Buffalo defensive line back and protected their quarterback to the tune of zero sacks on the day.
Josh Shaw - Stock Even
Perhaps you would think with an absent Leon Hall, Shaw could see some more snaps, but you would be thinking wrong. Darqueze Dennard feeling the energy of his alumni Michigan State Spartans' win on Saturday filled in quite nicely and even snagged his first career interception. Shaw is at least in the conversation filling in occasionally for a somewhat under-appreciated Bengals secondary.
P.J. Dawson - Stock Up
The high ankle injury for Vincent Rey looked bad as it went down, but Marvin Lewis believes in staying optimistic about his dinged up soldiers. What we saw in reaction was Dawson became the first one off the bench after the injury. Number 47 was put in regular formation grinder and while it wasn't anything to write home about (I understand the irony of writing about this now) it was at least a shoulder pad in the door. It will be interesting to see if Dawson will get more snaps now, but he only received three defensive snaps even with Rey's injury. Rey's injury also happens to coincide with Vontaze Burfict's time on the PUP list potentially coming to an end. There are possibly going to be a lot moving pieces after the bye week.
Tyler Kroft - Stock Even
We saw Ryan Hewitt with some targets down field on Sunday, likely a Hue Jackson trick to show that other tight ends not named Tyler Eifert can be offensive weapons for this team. Kroft wasn't able to snag a pass, but he continues to be in on plays in offense. Kroft played 14 snaps on offense, logging, once again, the most time of any rookie for the Bengals. Kroft needs to be winning over the hearts and minds of the Bengals' coaching staff. He's blocking tough and helping keep Dalton and Co. safe from defensive harm.
Derron Smith - Stock Even
His time continues to be spent on special teams, taking his lumps as they come. He's putting in his stints and getting to know what it takes to be pro-football player. With the secondary healthy (ish) he's not going to crack quality playing time and we might not see him in the fold for the rest of the season. But when his team is riding a 6-0 high it's not a bad way to learn on the job.
You guessed it, the same troop remains inactive for yet another week with Mario Alford, Marcus Hardison, and C.J. Uzomah all keeping the bench from flying away. The Bengals' regulars simply remain too talented and too healthy to warrant conversation on getting these unlucky rookies attention. While you always like to see a young crop of players getting their due diligence, we really can't be complaining about such a healthy and successful start to the season. Cedric Ogbuehi, the Bengals' first round draft pick remains on the PUP list with the ability to come off any day now. But, don't expect to see that happen just yet as someone else on the team would in turn need to be cut.