Auden Tate has been a fan favorite since arriving in Cincinnati as a seventh round draft pick this year.
Many thought he’d make the 53-man roster (including us here at Cincy Jungle) after he dazzled all throughout training camp with highlight reel play after highlight reel play. In the first preseason game he had a touchdown catch that wowed fans, but then he went quiet in the second and third games.
In the preseason finale he finished with two catches for 33 yards. His only other game catching a pass was the first preseason game when he caught one pass for 33 yards. His biggest problem may be an inability to effectively contribute on special teams, something that’s necessary for the No. 6 wide receiver on any team.
According to Bengals.com’s Geoff Hobson, Tate is the odd man out at wide receiver, and isn’t expected to make the 53-man roster when it’s announced on Saturday afternoon.
Tate gave it a good run and went out on another big third-down catch from Driskel, but he still looks to be No. 7 at a spot they keep six. The big question is the health of Core (back). He may be an IR-return candidate. But, you know what? It seems like some years they’re destined to keep seven wides, so stay tuned as they work through cornerbacks and safeties.
Hobson leaves the door open for Tate to potentially make the cut, but it doesn’t sound good for the former Florida State receiver.
It’s pretty surprising that the Bengals would keep Cody Core — who hasn’t practiced or played in weeks while dealing with a back injury — over Tate. Core had zero catches in his second NFL season in 2017 while seemingly falling out of favor in Cincinnati. That coupled with his unavailability this preseason seemed to signal he’d be a roster cut/candidate for the practice squad. Core didn’t even have a catch in the lone preseason game in which he played.
We’ll see what happens, but this is disappointing news for many Bengals fans.