The Cincinnati Bengals need help at cornerback following a season-ending injury to Chidobe Awuzie. The front office decided to avoid panicking at the NFL trade deadline and opted against pulling off a trade for a cornerback.
But that doesn’t mean the need to replace Awuzie (or, at worst, to get additional depth at the position) has disappeared.
Fortunately for them, one player that was linked to the Bengals ahead of the trade deadline is currently available after clearing waivers days after he was released by the Seattle Seahawks. I’m talking about Sidney Jones.
Jones, who was drafted in the second round back in 2017, was not let go by the Seahawks because of bad play. An offseason injury led to the rise of multiple cornerbacks that have played better than expected.
But the reality is Jones has been a solid cornerback throughout his career. Not only that but he provides versatility having played inside and outside. That being said, Jones would probably be better off manning the outside since he’s played that role for most of his career.
For his career, Jones has allowed a completion percentage of 60% and an NFL passer rating of 93.8 when targeted. Those numbers would rank #1 this season among cornerbacks not named Chidobe Awuzie in Cincinnati.
Jones fits what the Bengals should be looking for, considering they have gotten solid play from slot cornerback Mike Hilton. It’s worth mentioning that Cincinnati isn’t expected to move him from that position.
Instead, the likelier outcome for Awuzie’s injury is letting Eli Apple, Tre Flowers (both of them dealing with hamstring injuries), Cam Taylor-Britt, and first-round rookie Dax Hill fight for the outside jobs.
#Bengals DB situation minus Awuzie:— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) November 2, 2022
Eli Apple (hamstring) is feeling better, optimism he plays, less so Tre Flowers (hamstring).
CTB played like a rookie, they’re living with his ups-downs.
Dax Hill will rep some at outside corner in practice.
Mike Hilton staying in slot.
Hill is a very relevant part of this situation, by the way. I’ve been hyping up the Michigan prospect since before the Bengals took him in the first round. But I’ve always loved the idea of Hill as the hybrid defensive back. That’s because he can be a match-up problem for opponents on a weekly basis.
I don’t know if I feel the same about Hill playing outside corner full-time. I’d dare say it’s wildly optimistic to expect him to deliver on such a role.
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