Cincinnati Bengals: One injury from disaster in 2022

June 19, 2022

The Bengals had one problem in the Super Bowl they couldn’t stop Aaron Donald. So it was no surprise that when Free Agency opened that the Bengals started strong and went and got a Super Bowl-winning right guard like Alex Cappa. They finished the right way by revamping their offensive line with three new starters and Hayden Hurst to replace losing C.J. Uzomah.

The Bengals are arguably coming off their best season of staying healthy in the last five years. But the lingering question heading towards training camp is, can their young guys develop, or do they need more established veterans. Here are three positions the Bengals could add depth to before or during camp.

Offensive Line

Yes, they went out and got talented players to protect Joe Burrow, But what happens if La’el Collins or Ted Karras has to miss time. Then they will be forced to test the development of Trey Hill and Isaiah Prince. That problem could come up, considering Alex Cappa did have to miss time at OTAs last month due to a core muscle injury.

The Bengals should consider signing another versatile, established lineman who could fill in multiple positions if needed. In addition, there are still players like Nate Solder and even former Bengals offensive lineman Quinton Spain available that could add value in backup roles for the Bengals.

Defensive Tackle

Cincinnati has four Tackles; that’s it. The Bengals like to move players from the edge to the inside. But one injury to either BJ Hill or DJ Reader could derail that plan, especially when you play downhill running teams like the Baltimore Ravens.

The Bengals need that run-stopping anchor in the middle, and Tyler Shelvin is a young and unproven plus; he just had surgery and will probably miss the first few weeks. Akiem Hicks and Linval Joseph are just two players the Bengals could look into to add depth to the room.

Wide Receiver

The Cincinnati Bengals could have one of the best trio of receivers in the NFL. Chase, Boyd, and Higgins are all young and at the top of their game. However, when OTAs started seeing star wideout Tee, Higgins showed up with his shoulder still in a sling after offseason surgery.

The question arose who is the next man up in the Receivers room. You have the serious threat in Chase, Tee has the height to go up and win against anyone in the league, and Boyd, who has become a monster in the slot, has only dropped three passes since 2020.

They have guys like Mike Thomas and Trent Taylor, but they are yet to prove they can step up when their number is called upon. With camps starting in about a month, the Bengals could bring in a veteran at the position like Emmanuel Sanders or even a Will Fuller; you could come off the bench when you need it.

Zac Taylor has been a player’s coach, so you know he believes his guys will step up when their numbers are called upon. But that could have disastrous results if the injury bug was to hit the locker room this season.

There is strength in numbers and the Bengals do have that but you still need your core pieces healthy down the stretch of the season to make a Super Bowl run and Cincinnati had that this past year. They did add multiple depth pieces out of the draft and that could play a factor in the depth in 2022.