Wed, 21 Oct 2020

Quick Hits: Takeaways From Flurry Of Bengals Moves

Cincinnati Bengals
16 Sep 2020, 21:58 GMT+10

Geoff Hobson

Leave it to a short week and their first prime-time game in Cleveland in 30 years, a 34-13 Bengals' victory that featured "The Ickey Shuffle."

Less than 48 hours after losing the opener to the Chargers on a missed 31-yard field goal, the Bengals claimed the kicker the Browns cut following his performance during Sunday's loss to Baltimore.

But Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said Bengals kicker Randy Bullock is healthy and ready for Thursday night (8:20-Cincinnati's Channel 12) after he injured his calves while slicing to the right what would have been the tying field goal.

It appears that Austin Siebert, the Browns' fifth-round pick from a year ago, has been added as insurance in case Bullock has something grab again. Siebert, a Joe Mixon and Baker Mayfield teammate at Oklahoma, has had a choppy career up north, missing five PATs and four field goals before missing a 41-yard field goal right as well as a PAT in Cleveland's 38-6 Opening Day loss in Baltimore.

Siebert's Bengals future remains to be seen. Since the Bengals claimed him, they don't have to keep him for three weeks like they would claiming a practice squad player.

If they need him, Siebert becomes the eighth player in history to play for the Bengals and Browns in the same season on a list headed by another specialist, punter Lee Johnson, a Super Bowl Bengal that punted in 169 games for the Bengals. Johnson, tied with current long snapper Clark Harris with the 11th most games played in Bengals history, started the 1988 season in Cleveland before going to the Super Bowl with the Bengals later that season.

Other Bengals who played with the Browns in the same season, according to Elias: running back Reece Morrison in 1972,

guard Ralph Tamm, safety Joe King and wide receiver Lynn James all in 1991, running back Sedrick Shaw in 1999 and safety Derron Smith in 2017.

By the way, on Thursday night Harris becomes the 12th player to appear in at least 170 Bengals games.

_The Bengals have lost right guard Xavier Su'a-Filo for what looks to be several games after he injured his ankle in the fourth quarter Sunday. When the Bengals moved him to IR it opened up a spot for Siebert. It's a tough transaction for Sua'a-Filo, finally healthy after ending last season in Dallas with a broken leg.

That means Billy Price, the Youngstown-area native, draws the start near home for the 19th of his career and second at right guard. He started at that spot in the next-to-last game of last season when the offense had 430 yards in the overtime loss in Miami.

"Billy came off the bench and did fine. I thought we settled down our protection a little bit at the end of the second half," said offensive coordinator Brian Callahan about the opener. "Guys got their feet underneath them and we protected well, especially on that last drive. They came after us with a couple pressures on the last drive as well and we converted in some big spots, and Billy was a part of that.

"So I thought Billy had a nice set of plays there to step in in a reserve role and obviously if X is still out, he's going to play more. Billy's played plenty of football, he's played plenty here, so we expect him to be able to come in and play just like a starter."

_The Bengals signed Amani Bledsoe back to the roster after he reverted to the practice squad following his NFL debut Sunday. It looks like he did well on his ten snaps and the move almost assuredly means perennial Pro Bowl defensive tackle Geno Atkins (shoulder) misses his second straight game after making 96 straight.

Atkins was listed as not practicing in Tuesday's walkthrough, as was safety Shawn Williams (calf), and it looks like he'll be out again, too. Defensive tackle Mike Daniels (groin) who played well Sunday despite limping with a groin issue, also didn't practice but if he played Sunday he'll probably play Thursday.

Daniels played 37 snaps, one fewer than tackle Christian Covington, acquired in a trade a week before the opener, and both played well when nose tackle D.J. Reader went down with cramps for a stretch of the fourth quarter. Reader isn't on the injury report and all three need to come up big against Browns running backs Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb.

Why new Browns head coach and play-caller Kevin Stefanski didn't run them more is the burning question this week on the Lakefront. Hunt gouged the Ravens on 72 yards with just 13 carries and Chubb needed just ten carries to get to 60. When Cleveland ran it 27 times against the Bengals last year in Cleveland, the Browns romped to a win with 146 yards. The Bengals held them to 74 rushing yards on 20 carries a few weeks later when they won the finale. So we'll see which tape Stefanski took to heart.

_The Bengals cut cornerback Torry McTyer after he was inactive on Sunday. That must mean cornerback LeShaun Sims, a seventh-year player who was inactive, is ready to go, He didn't appear on Tuesday's injury report.

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