The Bengals have to make difficult decisions at wide receiver, a positive sign for an offense that rarely played to its full potential in 2016.
Drawn by his rare speed and deep-ball tracking ability, the Bengals used their first-round pick on John Ross and believe he’ll both take safety attention away from Pro Bowler A.J.
Green and open things in the middle of the field for TE Tyler
Eifert, who wasn’t healthy last year after a breakout 2015. But another rookie, 6-3 Josh Ma
lone, has also made a strong bid for playing time. Malone and shifty Alex Er
ickson, the kick returner last year, are pushing Tyler Boyd for snaps.. Malone’s performance probably means the Bengals will keep seven wide receivers.
Like Erickson, Cody Core is a second-year player who can play on special teams and has shown he can produce in the regular offense.
QB Andy Dalton isn’t just thinking about the benefits of having a healthy Eifert back. He’s envisioning having multiple players who can create in space and make plays in the red zone. Rookie watch: Jake El
liott, the first kicker selected in the draft, and veteran K Randy
Bullock have been strong and are competing for the starting job. Bullock has the trust of coaches, so it’s no sure thing that Elliott makes the team.
Noteworthy: LB Vontaze Burfict has been suspended five games for an off-the-ball hit on Kansas City Chiefs fullback Anthony Sherman in the Bengals’ second preseason game, The
Cincinnati Enquirer reported. He’s appealing the ruling. ... Doctors told S Shawn Williams he wouldn’t need surgery for a dislocated elbow. Williams might miss only the first two games of the season. ... The team continues to get strong showings from rookie edge defensive players Jordan
Willis and Carl Lawson.