It has been what the media have called it — a trying week — for the Cincinnati Bengals' wide receivers. For some, it will be an opportunity, for others "a distraction," for Jordan Shipley, it will be a hospital stay and for Jerome Simpson it could be a federal penitentiary stay (if you think that Michael Vick had a long stay, Simpson is going to be wishing he had the same conviction — if he is, in fact, involved).
Preceding the headline news (which came as no surprise to everyone on the planet that is familiar with the NFL and the Bengals), was the season-ending ACL tear received by Jordan Shipley.
Meanwhile, Cedric Benson was served up to the league by the NFLPA (so much for protecting the players' interest).
To put these three losses (if Simpson is in fact lost) in context, of the remaining players from the 2010 season on this year's roster, this trio accounted for 66 percent of the running back/receiver's cumulative starts, 82 percent of the rushing attempts, 76 percent of the rushing yards, 88 percent of rushing touchdowns, 53 percent of team receptions, 58 percent of receiving yards and 78 percent of the receiving touchdowns. Despite the large hole of Chad Ochocinco, Terrell Owens and even tight end Reggie Kelly, this is overwhelmingly substantial in terms of remaining roster experience.
So with that being said — and being that the receiving corp was most affected — let us take a look at who is remaining to cover for the most damaged position — wide receiver.