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Ryan Hewitt demonstrates pass catching ability while continuing blocking duties

Ryan Hewitt is another versatile weapon this Bengals offense will turn to if needed. He was well-utilized during Sunday's win over the Bills, and answered the call when given the chance.

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Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengal have received positive contributions from seemingly everyone on the 53-man roster at one point or another through six games this season.

During Sunday's win over the Bills, it was h-back Ryan Hewitt's time to step up. Though he finished the game with only one catch, it came at a crucial point in the game. On the Bengals' opening possession of the second half, they needed to retake momentum after Buffalo scored late in the first half to keep the game within striking distance.

A score here was needed for Cincinnati to retake control, and Hewitt helped make it happen with his first catch of the season. It came on a 2nd-and-10 pass from Andy Dalton as Hewitt made a contested catch over the middle with cornerback Ronald Darby all over him.

Hewitt was signed as an undrafted fullback out of Stanford last season before going on to play in all 16 games with 11 starts. He has lined up as a fullback, h-back and tight end since then. It was his tight end skills that were on display during his catching play on Sunday, though it came from him playing mostly as a blocking end, which helped catch the Bills offense off guard.

With the Bengals not having a true blocking tight end on their roster like they typically have, Hewitt has been working more to fill that role, as he told the Cincinnati Enquirer's Jim Owczarski.

"It’s definitely a different skill set, a different style of block when you’re on the line of scrimmage versus in the backfield coming with a head start," Hewitt told Owczarski. "You’ve just got to get used to the technique."

The only other tight ends on the Bengals' roster besides Tyler Eifert are rookies Tyler Kroft and C.J. Uzomah, neither of whom are ready for a significant role in this offense. It's still been a tough adjustment for Hewitt though, given most of his career to this point had seen him lining up in the backfield and paving the way for running backs to make plays.

"With fullback I get to build up and see what’s going to happen and end up hitting the guy," Hewitt said. "It’s just different on the amount of time until contact."

Offensive coordinator Hue Jackson loves what he has in the 6'4", 254-pound Hewitt, who can make tough contested catches like the one above while also laying some solid blocks, whether it comes from him lining up in the backfield or on the line.

"He can do it and our personnel groups have dictated that," Jackson said in a post-game press conference. "The teams we're playing, the defenses we’ve played, the best way to attack them is sometimes different than what we did a year ago. He’s very versatile that way. He can line up in the backfield, he can line up on the line. We can motion him out wide. We take advantage of his skill set as well."

Hewitt is just another versatile weapon this Bengals offense will turn to if needed. He was needed during Sunday's win over the Bills, and Hewitt answered the call on that opening third-quarter drive, which resulted in a touchdown and a lead that Buffalo would never overcome.