The Bengals’ depth at tight end is getting thinner than the polar ice caps.
Okay, maybe not that thin, but pretty damn pretty thin.
For the second straight week, the Bengals offense operated without Tyler Kroft and they have been without Tyler Eifert for three weeks now. C.J. Uzomah has filled in fine as the starter, but he hasn’t been a prominent figure in the passing game besides to an extent against the Steelers.
The depth behind Uzomah was the biggest issue with Kroft out until an undetermined date (it’s going to be a few more weeks, at least). All the Begnals had was 2017 seventh-round pick Mason Schreck and Matt Lengel, whom they signed off the Texans’ practice squad two weeks ago.
The Schreck was carted off the field on Sunday night against the Chiefs with a torn ACL. The Bengals are left with Uzomah, Lengel and they just promoted Jordan Franks off the practice squad.
The Bengals are basically at DEFCON 2 with their tight ends. If Uzomah were to get injured, Lengel and Franks (or even Moritz Böhringer!) would be the starters.
I encourage you to survey every practice squad found on ourlads.com and see if you recognize any tight ends, because I failed to do so. The tight end market is slim pickings, but there are at least a handful of recognizable names available on the free agent market to bring in for a workout.
How about giving Walford a second chance? The Bengals originally brought in Walford after the Dolphins game to take Kroft’s spot, but the team ultimately chose Lengel over him. Now they need someone behind Lengel if Schreck’s injury is as injury as it seems. Walford can’t seem to stick anywhere, but he’s at least still a quality athlete.
This is more about the merchandise potential. The former undrafted free agent found a niche for the Tennessee Titans for the previous three seasons but never made a lasting impact. But hey, if you need to fill a position with bodies, might as well get bodies with cool names, right?
Hodges was an intriguing sixth-round pick by the Vikings last year. He was a wide receiver in his college days at Virginia Tech, but converted to tight end for the pros, essentially doing what some fans wanted the Bengals to have Auden Tate do. The difference is, Hodges is actually fast for his size. He currently is on the Steelers practice squad, so signing him and gaining insider information would surely compromise Pittsburgh’s season.
For those who watched this year’s installment of Hard Knocks that followed the Browns training camp, Cajuste became a fan favorite for his on-screen improved blocking, rock collection, and a heart-warming relationship with his father Gregory. Head coach Marvin Lewis could make a call to his friend Hue Jackson to get an inside scoop on Cajuste as well.
What do you think the Bengals should do at tight end?