The Bengals are now without their former first-round picks at the wide receiver position, so it may be time to turn to a former seventh-rounder.
Quick quiz: who leads the Bengals in receptions and receiving yards over the last two games?
You probably guessed Auden Tate, either because you actually knew the answer or because you read the headline. Either way, you would be correct.
Over the last two games, Tate has ten receptions for 138 yards. He has been one of the team’s best receivers, which is impressive because he was inactive in Week 1.
With A.J. Green still sidelined for the foreseeable future, and John Ross III now on IR, the Bengals will need him now more than ever.
If he wasn’t already, Tyler Boyd is now the teams’ de facto No. 1 receiver, which is a role he thrived in last season, but the depth is getting thinner behind him. The Bengals will have to lean to the inexperience of Tate, Alex Erickson and Damion Willis.
But Tate is slowly growing into the role of a leading receiver. Tate’s snap counts have steadily been increasing as the season wears on, and in Week 4 he was only one snap behind Boyd.
Up until now, Boyd and Ross have been Dalton’s favorite duo in Green’s absence. Tate has been squeezing himself in there over the last few weeks and done well. Now he doesn’t have Ross to contend with, and he should have even more opportunities than before.
Another thing that works out in his favor is the success of Boyd. Now, teams are most certainly going to turn all their attention to him, leaving Tate with some favorable match ups.
Tate is only a year removed from being drafted late in the seventh round and being signed to the practice squad. He is only a few weeks removed from being inactive in the season opener. Now he has the chance to show why he has hung around, and why the Bengals even took a chance on him in he first place.