Nobody cares about Week 4 of the preseason. Nobody except the 37 players that will be cut from every active roster in the NFL.
That number is technically 38 for the Cincinnati Bengals. So this game mattered by 1.03% more than the average NFL roster.
The Bengals and Colts always conclude the preseason by facing each other, but the names in the spotlight always change. This year, a few new players put their careers on the line for the orange and black.
Darius Phillips: What a way to return from injury. After hauling in an impressive first quarter interception in first game back, Phillips responded with a punt return for a touchdown. He already had a roster spot locked up, but this game confirmed it. He’s the clear winner of the night.
Germaine Pratt and Davontae Harris: Continuing on the special team train, both of these guys forced a fumble on the punt return, which is what the coaches are looking for at this point. Harris also had an additional tackle on the punt team. Both of these guys should make the team, especially if Darqueze Dennard starts the year on the Physically Unable to Perform list.
Dan Godsil: You recover two fumbles as a LONG-SNAPPER(???) it doesn’t matter if you have no shot of making the team. You’re a winner in all of our books. Good luck in your next endeavor.
Ventell Bryant: Andy Dalton has had Tyler Boyd this preseason. Ryan Finley has had Damion Willis. Jake Dolegala has had Bryant. The undrafted receiver from Temple caught nine balls for 83 yards. His spot on the practice squad should’ve already been secured with his connection with Dolegala, but this performance sealed that fate.
Deshaun Davis: The man most likely to supplant Hardy Nickerson had a good day on the scoresheet. Davis led the team in tackles (8) and also recorded a tackle for loss and a pass deflection. Davis should be on a team this year, let’s hope it’s this team.
John Jerry: The Bengals “fourth” tackle did not perform like he deserved that distinction. Jerry gave up two sacks in the game, including one where Dolegala got strip-sacked. Jerry will make the roster, but for God’s sake, keep him inside.
Josh Malone: While Bryant and Cody Core (five receptions for 74 yards) put up decent numbers, Malone stayed relatively pedestrian. His main blunder involved him dropping a Dolegala dime over the middle. Malone got some work as a kick returner, but he did next to nothing with the opportunity. He’s safely on the outside looking in.
Rodney Anderson: Getting injured always stinks, especially for a guy like Anderson. Before the rookie left game with a, apparent knee injury, Anderson rushed for two yards on five carries. The blocking continued to be awful, but the real concern is Anderson’s health. Hopefully he’s not sidelined for long.
Tristan Vizcaino: He wasn’t kicking for a job in Cincinnati, he was kicking for a job elsewhere. Two-for-four ain’t gonna cut it anywhere in this league.