AFC North division round-up: August 2019 edition
Things still aren’t going according to plan for the Cincinnati Bengals. Between injuries and a massive roster makeover, the AFC North crown looks entirely out of reach for the Bengals.
However, a shot t the AFC North division title should be the further east thing from Cincinnati’s mind right now. The team’s top priority should be allowing new Head Coach Zac Taylor to recreate this roster in the image that he has in mind. There’s already been plenty of cuts that’ve shocked fans, such as second-year linebacker Malik Jefferson.
Jefferson, who was banged up most of his rookie season, was a surprising cut by the Bengals after investing a third round pick in him just one season ago. Jefferson was unlike anything Cinci had in its linebacking core in quite awhile, thanks to his speed and pure athleticism. Regardless, props are in order for Taylor and his staff for being unafraid to make tough decisions for the future.
Another unfortunate injury hit the Bengals when it was announced rookie running back Rodney Anderson tore his ACL. Anderson has had terrible luck in the injury department, suffering season-ending injuries in each of the last four-seasons dating back to college.
The silver-lining here is that future Hall of Fame wide receiver A.J. Green was taken off IR and could play sooner than expected this season. It’ll be pivotal for Green and the Bengals offense to get as much time together in Taylor’s first season coaching in order to assess how the offense will function moving forward.
Despite a tough off-season full of injuries and cuts, the Cincinnati bengals future looks bright under Zac Taylor and earns an A+ from me for his efforts. The AFC North may be within reach a couple years sooner than we once anticipated.