It is no secret that the Bengals are in a tricky situation when it comes to wide receivers.
It is looking like Cincinnati will be forced to roster seven receivers to start the season until A.J. Green returns from his injury. That means there is a shot that one extra receiver on the roster bubble could work his way onto the roster. It appears that undrafted rookie Damion WIllis may be working himself into that spot.
“Damion’s got a knack for the ball. It’s no surprise that when we put the ball down the field, he’s got that radar where he can get underneath and go track those balls down,” Zac Taylor told Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com. “Damion has been impressive. With those young guys, consistency has been what we’re looking for. Showing up in the run game. It’s not just about catching the ball; it’s helping our backs in the run game as well. So, those guys have got to continue to step up, but overall they’ve done a nice job.”
Willis’ most impressive play was unfortunately called back due to a questionable offensive pass interference call. He adjusted to a pass right at the start of the end zone in which he ended up diving around a defender to catch it.
Aside from that play Willis still regularly worked himself open on the night. He caught five passes for 59 yards after only having a single catch in the preseason opener against the Chiefs. He is now tied with Stanley Morgan Jr. and Jordan Ellis for the most receiving yards over the first two preseason games.
That is a pretty good spot to be in after two weeks of the preseason. It also doesn’t hurt that he has been the talk of training camp as well. It seems like the little things like run blocking, special teams and properly running pick routes that don’t get called could be the difference between Willis starting of the season on the 53-man roster or practice squad.
Of course, the Bengals will likely drop down to six receivers once Green returns from his injury, so that will be the true cut date that the receivers who end up making the roster will be looking to survive.
With names like Auden Tate, Josh Malone, Morgan and Cody Core being floated around as rosterable receivers, Willis isn’t going to make the team’s decision on who to cut an easy one.