The Cincinnati Bengals offense is finally clicking and looks like a unit capable of taking the pressure off of the defense to control the game and shutdown the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Tom Bray and Ben Roethlisberger. Last week, it was the offense who had to carry the load in a shootout with the Detroit Lions, and that was without receiver Andrew Hawkins in the lineup.
People forget that he still figured to be a significant contributor in this offense, as he’s been a reliable third-down target and has some of the most reliable hands on the team. When he went down in training camp, it helped slow the offense down for the first few weeks, and now that he’s nearing a return, this unit could become one of the deepest in the league at WR:
“I don’t think you get that much of an advantage,” Hawkins said before Thursday’s practice. “In one aspect I guess (fresh legs) would be an advantage. In another aspect they have eight games under their belt and this is my first game, preseason or not. It goes both ways.”
“It’s getting to the point where you’re just letting it go,” he said. “That’s a milestone and from there I’m comfortable on the practice field and I’m able to take it to the game. It’s a little bit of a process.”
Hawkins caught 51 passes for 533 yards and four touchdowns out of the slot for Cincinnati last season. His return would give the Bengals more options to go with Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu as complements for A.J. Green in the passing game.