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Bengals Week 17 snap counts: Young players rise to the occasion

Rookies Nick Vigil, Cody Core and Tyler Boyd were among those who impressed on Sunday in the Bengals’ season finale. Ryan Hewitt saw a workload increase and benefited from it, too, as did Rex Burkhead, who may have played his final game with the Bengals.

NFL: DEC 24 Bengals at Texans Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Bengals’ season ended on a high note with a win against the division rival Ravens.

Without much to play for and with many starters sidelined with injuries, a number of changes were made to the Bengals’ lineup and playing time breakdown in the season finale.

Darqueze Dennard still played second fiddle to Josh Shaw, but saw the field for 31 defensive snaps. Young players like Nick Vigil, Clayton Fejedelem, Trey Hopkins, and Derron Smith saw increased opportunities. Even rookie cornerback KeiVarae Russell played one snap on defense, and on that one snap, grabbed an interception, on a deep pass targeted for Breshad Perriman. Cody Core and Tyler Boyd also saw considerable playing time, as they have for weeks, and both made a nice impact in the win.

Here are some further takeaways from the snap count breakdown:

  • Kevin Zeitler managed to play 100% of the Bengals’ snaps all season long, an incredibly impressive feat that includes more than 1,000 consecutive snaps played. The Bengals should do everything they can to get Zeitler to re-sign long-term in Cincinnati.
  • T.J. Johnson started the first game of his career in what could be his final game in Cincinnati as he’s also set to hit free agency. Johnson did well on Sunday at left guard and helped Rex Burkhead rush for 119 yards.
  • Trey Hopkins was promoted from the practice squad last week and actually got to play 10 snaps on offense.
  • The wide receiver snap count saw Brandon LaFell with the most snaps, closely followed by Core, Boyd and then Alex Erickson. James Wright didn’t play on offense on Sunday.
  • Also brought up from the practice squad over the last two weeks were Tra Carson, P.J. Dawson and Trevor Roach, they were active but did not play other than on special teams, and Carson didn’t even play on special teams. Jake Kumerow was also added to the roster from the practice squad, but was made inactive for the game.
  • Fullback Ryan Hewitt played his second highest snap total of the season. Interestingly, it was one of the best days for the Bengals’ running game all season. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
  • In what could be Domata Peko’s final game with the Bengals, he played 27 snaps and registered 1 tackle. Pat Sims actually out-snapped him with 33 plays and had a half sack in the process. Peko failed to record a sack all season.
  • Margus Hunt and Will Clarke played an even snap count, neither recorded a statistic on Sunday in the 27 snaps each played. I see no reason for Hunt to return to the team once he hits free agency in March.
  • With Vontaze Burfict out, Karlos Dansby played 88% of defensive snaps. Rookie Nick Vigil also benefited with 37 snaps played, by far the most he’s played all season. He did a great job and had 6 tackles, 4 of which were solo tackles. He also broke up a fourth down pass, which highlighted his day.
  • Rey Maualuga played only nine snaps and it seems his days in Cincinnati are numbered.
  • Derron Smith got in at safety for 11 snaps toward the end of the game.

Bengals Week 17 Snap Count

Position Player Snap Count Percentage of Time
Position Player Snap Count Percentage of Time
Offensive Line Kevin Zeitler 68 100%
Russell Bodine 68 100%
T.J. Johnson 62 91%
Andrew Whitworth 65 96%
Jake Fisher 67 99%
Eric Winston 11 16%
Trey Hopkins 10 15%
Christian Westerman INACTIVE INACTIVE
Tight End C.J. Uzomah 59 87%
Quarterback Andy Dalton 68 100%
AJ McCarron -- --
Wide Receiver Cody Core 61 90%
Tyler Boyd 50 74%
Brandon LaFell 63 93%
James Wright -- --
Alex Erickson 3 4%
Running Back Jeremy Hill INACTIVE INACTIVE
Rex Burkhead 56 82%
Cedric Peerman 12 18%
Tra Carson -- --
Fullback/H-Back Ryan Hewitt 25 37%
----------------------- ---------------------------- ---------------- ----------------------
Defensive Tackle Geno Atkins 44 60%
Domata Peko 27 37%
Pat Sims 33 45%
Defensive End Margus Hunt 27 37%
Will Clarke 27 37%
Carlos Dunlap 49 67%
Michael Johnson 49 67%
Wallace Gilberry 38 52%
Linebacker Karlos Dansby 64 88%
Rey Maualuga 9 12%
Vincent Rey 46 63%
Nick Vigil 37 51%
Marquis Flowers 2 3%
P.J. Dawson -- --
Trevor Roach -- --
Safety George Iloka 70 96%
Shawn Williams 56 77%
Derron Smith 11 15%
Clayton Fejedelem 8 11%
Cornerback Adam Jones 61 84%
Dre Kirkpatrick 68 93%
Josh Shaw 45 62%
Darqueze Dennard 31 42%
Keivarae Russell 1 1%