Mohamed Sanu was just becoming the Cincinnati Bengals’ newest weapon at receiver, catching four touchdowns in a three-game span.
The chemistry between him and Andy Dalton was just beginning to set itself in stone when he was injured in practice. A foot surgery will most definitely keep him out for the entire year now.
With that injury, the Bengals lose a receiver with the ability to compliment A.J. Green on the opposite side of the field. His good hands, large build and versatility in a number of roles made him a threat wherever he was placed.
Now Cincinnati is forced to look at what other options they have to replace him in the number-two receiver spot.
Andrew Hawkins is a great receiver to have in the middle, and could be a lead candidate for that role. However, I’d prefer the mismatches Hawkins is producing right where he is with his speed and agility.
Jermaine Gresham is also a receiver that Dalton will likely target a lot more over the next few weeks. He is a reliable receiver with a will to help the offense in whatever way he can. He has excellent hands and can also provide a favorable matchup through the middle as a tight end.
Orson Charles? Marvin Jones? Armon Binns?
Out of the options the Bengals have, I think they should continue to develop Jones in the role opposite A.J. Green. Charles is also reliable, but his ability to get separation in the secondary is questionable. Plus, Binns just hasn’t had enough playing time to get any chemistry going with Dalton. He’s also not as fast.
Who is the best number-two receiver option for the Bengals?
Jones doesn’t have that chemistry with Dalton yet either. However, I see a lot more potential in the young receiver. He has the speed to get separation and the ability to make plays when he needs to.
His number hasn’t been called very often by the offense, and he wasn’t too much of a factor last week against the San Diego Chargers. Then again, he hasn’t had much of a chance.
Is he the answer to Cincinnati’s number-two receiver problem? Only time will tell.