Cincinnati Bengals: Stretch Without Burrow Will Help Determine Rebuilding Plan
It was not surprising that the Bengals (2-8-1) struggled offensively Sunday in their first game since Joe Burrow’s season-ending knee injury.
Cincinnati didn’t reach the red zone until the fourth quarter during a 19-17 loss to the Giants, with Brandon Allen (17-for-29, 136 yards, one touchdown, one interception) starting at quarterback in place of Burrow. The Bengals’ first touchdown came on a 103-yard kickoff return by Brandon Wilson, but for most of the day their offense was stymied.
Rookie wide receiver Tee Higgins (five catches, 44 yards) caught Cincinnati’s lone touchdown pass and continued his strong season (48 catches, 673 yards, five touchdowns). Higgins and Burrow give the Bengals two young talents to build around, but during the final five games of the season, coaches and teammates want to see which players continue to grind during a December that could be difficult. That will help the Bengals determine which players they want to build around moving forward.
“If you’re not playing to that standard or not doing everything to that standard, then I think it should make it clear what is going to happen next year, who is going to be here in this locker room,” Bengals safety Jessie Bates said via ESPN.com.