The Cincinnati Bengals and fans have to be sad to see a promising rookie pass rusher Joseph Ossai likely out for the season after getting knee surgery.
As the saying goes, the show must go on, and they has a promising undrafted rookie is Darius Hodge who looked very good in the preseason.
Hodge flashed almost as much as Ossai in Week 1 of the preseason, and it is clear the coaches took notice as they had Hodge out in the pass rushing unit early where he hit Ryan Fitzpatrick’s arm on a third down after sprinting around the edge.
Darius Hodge gets the sack with an inside rip after the LT oversets. Had to work for it! pic.twitter.com/MW6CISQmRt— Mike (Sans) (@bengals_sans) August 18, 2021
It was a question of whether Hodge would make the team initially. The team did a ton to address pass rushing this season after Carl Lawson left in free agency. They brought in Trey Hendrickson from New Orleans, drafted Ossai, Cam Sample and obviously signed as an undrafted free agent.
The NFL is all about opportunity, and the opportunity is there for Hodge is there to cash in on it. He obviously won’t be starting, but he should provide a valuable push in pass rushing situations. If he plays like he did in the preseason he could carve a role out for years to come.
Hopefully when Ossai returns next year, we get to talk about how dangerous him and Hodge will be in 2022.
Highest-graded non-first round rookies:— PFF College (@PFF_College) August 17, 2021
▪️ Miller Forristal, Titans - 91.1
▪️ Richard LeCounte, Browns - 90.4
▪️ Darius Hodge, Bengals - 89.9
▪️ Joseph Ossai, Bengals - 89.6 pic.twitter.com/59f19mPgC1