CINCINNATI — The Bengals’ wide receiver room is one of the deepest in the NFL. From A.J. Green to Tyler Boyd and John Ross, they appear to have it all.
They have a star, a slot machine, a speedster and multiple big bodied receivers that can go up and make a play on the ball.
Unfortunately for the Bengals, that depth is already being tested. Ross was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list last week after his 3-year-old son reportedly tested positive for coronavirus.
Second-round pick Tee Higgins is also dealing with an issue of his own. He’s missed time with a “minor” injury. It’s unclear if he’ll be back on the field this week.
The absence of Ross and Higgins has opened the door for some of the other receivers to show the coaching staff what they can do.
Mike Thomas is one of the many Bengals wide-outs that hope to take advantage of the opportunity. Dan Hoard and Dave Lapham both praised the fifth-year receiver during their training camp report.
“He’s got jack-hammer feet,” Lapham said. “He’s got really, really quick feet. And it shows up in his route running. It shows up in the separation when he gets in and out of that cut. The separation that he gets. And like you (Hoard) said, the one-handed catch — Zac Taylor knows what he’s got there.”
Thomas, 26, spent the first four years of his career with the Rams. He was in Los Angeles with Taylor, which is a big reason why the Bengals targeted Thomas in free agency.
He only has 10 receptions in his career. He’s one of the guys that has to play his way onto the 53-man roster. The same goes for Stanley Morgan Jr., who was great on special teams last year. This is a chance for him to show what he can do as a wide receiver.
Damion Willis, Scotty Washington, DaMarkus Lodge and Trenton Irwin are all players that need to make a good impression on the coaching staff if they’re going to stick around this season.
It’s worth noting that the practice squad has expanded to 16 players, which means the Bengals could keep plenty of these guys around in one capacity or another.
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