It’s getting pretty obvious that Bengals fans aren’t the only ones upset at the team’s 3-4-1 start to the 2016 season. As Cincinnati heads into its bye, the team is looking at all kinds of ways to improve their football team and make the playoffs for the sixth consecutive season.
On Wednesday, the Bengals reportedly worked out veteran fullback Marcel Reece, formerly of the Oakland Raiders, per Doug Kyed of NESN.com.
Former Raiders fullback Marcel Reece worked out for the Bengals today.— Doug Kyed (@DougKyed) November 2, 2016
Reece was an undrafted free agent out of the University of Washington back in 2008, initially landing with the Miami Dolphins. Though that stint didn’t work out, he was picked up by Oakland the same offseason and really made a nice career for himself with the Raiders.
In suiting up for the silver and black for over eight seasons, Reece made four consecutive Pro Bowls from 2012-2015 and was a second-team All-Pro fullback in 2013. His ability to block, catch and run at the position made him a versatile asset on a Raiders team that had a quarterback carousel in Reece’s tenure.
Reece was popped at the end of 2015 with a four-game suspension for violating NFL rules on performance-enhancing drugs. When he was eligible to return at the end of September this year and became eligible to be added to the Raiders’ roster, Oakland promptly cut him. If you’re wondering why Kyed, a guy who usually covers the Patriots had a beat on this situation, it’s because Reece also recently worked out for New England. Regardless, the veteran fullback left Oakland with 2,015 receiving yards, 844 rushing yards and 15 total touchdowns (12 receiving, three rushing).
Reece’s versatility could be a good asset for the Bengals, who are beginning to get things going on offense—particularly in the running game. It’s hard to say where he would exactly fit into Ken Zampese’s offense because of the spotty usage of the similarly-versatile Ryan Hewitt, but it’s possible the team is looking at more ways to give help to an offensive line that is struggling in pass protection.
The news of the Bengals giving the veteran fullback a tryout notes their message of dissatisfaction in the team to this point in the season. They have already been working out other kickers because of Mike Nugent’s struggles, while Paul Guenther has hinted about possible personnel changes on defense after the bye.
We’ll continue to keep you updated on news regarding Reece and other possible roster moves the Bengals make during the bye week.
According to the NFL waiver wire, the Bengals did not sign anyone on Wednesday. But, a signing could come later this or next week. The Bengals could also be keeping tabs on who’s available in case they want to make a signing in the second half of the season.