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Snap Counts: Bengals’ defensive depth continues to be utilized vs. Ravens

Injuries at defensive line forced the Bengals to empty their bench.

NFL: DEC 26 Ravens at Bengals Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Believe it or not, the Baltimore Ravens weren’t the only team dealing with injuries in Paul Brown Stadium this week.

The Cincinnati Bengals’ defense has been the team’s rock this year. Their stability week in and week out has kept them in nearly every single game. But they’re starting to break down. Depth has become an issue for multiple position groups in this unit, and that was displayed during their latest thrashing of the Ravens on Sunday.

Defensive line troubles

Khalid Kareem’s concussion and D.J. Reader and Wyatt Ray’s positive COVID results meant a few changes had to be made up front. Mike Daniels (16) and Noah Spence (16) made their 2021 debuts after spending the entire season up to this point on the practice squad. Cam Sample’s mid-game injury also threw a wrench in the plans on the edge as Sam Hubbard (59) never left the field. Spence only filled in for Trey Hendrickson (41).

Daniels played behind B.J. Hill (42) and Josh Tupou (30) at defensive tackle in Reader’s absence. Tyler Shelvin (3) also appeared in just his second-career game. The Ravens’ interior offensive line had no trouble keeping the Bengals at bay from third-string quarterback Josh Johnson.

A statement made at cornerback

Trae Waynes wasn’t supposed to be in this situation when he signed with Cincinnati, but he’s officially a reserve player now.

Eli Apple (59) stayed on the field the entire game while Waynes (12) only came in for Chidobe Awuzie (47), who appeared to re-aggravate his injured foot early in the afternoon. Tre Flowers (12) also got some action as the game progressed.

Apple played another admirable game as he continues his impressive 2021 campaign. Now that he’s officially ahead of Waynes on the depth chart (rightfully so), you have to wonder if the team will cut Waynes and use those savings to retain Apple in the offseason.

Other takeaways

  • Markus Bailey (46) made his first-career start at linebacker. He played 34 snaps last week, and unless Logan Wilson returns next week, he’ll probably top 46 against the Kansas City Chiefs.
  • Jackson Carman (9) came in for an injured Hakeem Adeniji before Adeniji returned and played a total of 69 snaps. Adeniji was questionable to play, and Carman would’ve started for him had he not played.
  • With his 42 snaps, B.J. Hill out-snapped Larry Ogunjobi (36) for just the second time this season. Reader’s absence may’ve impacted this side of the rotation a bit, but the increase in Hill’s playing time of late has been noticeable.

What was your biggest takeaway? Let us know in the comments!

Bengals snaps vs. Ravens

Position Player Snaps Percentage of Snaps
Position Player Snaps Percentage of Snaps
T Jonah Williams 76 100%
T Isaiah Prince 76 100%
G Quinton Spain 76 100%
C Trey Hopkins 76 100%
QB Joe Burrow 76 100%
G Hakeem Adeniji 69 91%
WR Tyler Boyd 69 91%
WR Ja'Marr Chase 69 91%
WR Tee Higgins 64 84%
RB Joe Mixon 62 82%
TE C.J. Uzomah 49 64%
TE Drew Sample 32 42%
WR Stanley Morgan Jr. 15 20%
RB Samaje Perine 11 14%
G Jackson Carman 9 12%
TE Mitchell Wilcox 3 4%
RB Chris Evans 3 4%
WR Trent Taylor 1 1%
LB Germaine Pratt 59 100%
DE Sam Hubbard 59 100%
SS Vonn Bell 59 100%
FS Jessie Bates III 59 100%
CB Eli Apple 59 100%
CB Chidobe Awuzie 47 80%
LB Markus Bailey 46 78%
CB Mike Hilton 46 78%
DT B.J. Hill 42 71%
DE Trey Hendrickson 41 69%
DT Larry Ogunjobi 36 61%
DT Josh Tupou 30 51%
DT Mike Daniels 16 27%
DE Noah Spence 16 27%
CB Tre Flowers 12 20%
CB Trae Waynes 12 20%
LB Clay Johnston 3 5%
SS Ricardo Allen 3 5%
DT Tyler Shelvin 3 5%
SS Michael Thomas 1 2%