Bengals fans have been heartened by many things over the last 3 weeks, but one of the most pleasant changes (aside from winning games) has been the ongoing development of WR Mohamed Sanu. After scoring 4 touchdowns over the last 3 weeks, Sanu has emerged as the primary #2 receiver, and a huge target in the red zone. He showed up as “limited” on Cincinnati’s injury report for Thursday, and news emerged that he would be meeting with Bengal doctors on Friday morning.
Geoff Hobson at Bengals.com then reported that Sanu was not with the team for Friday morning’s practice. Now we get word via PFT that the rookie WR from Rutgers has a stress fracture in his foot that will require surgery, and may put the receiver on injured reserve.
Not exactly what we wanted to hear.
Sanu had become a fan favorite and a versatile player in Jay Gruden’s offense, having thrown for a touchdown pass, carried the ball as a running back, and contributed heavily as a wide receiver. Without him, the Bengals will have to rely more on Marvin Jones, another rookie who is coming off injury himself. The team will also have Andrew Hawkins back from being out the last few weeks with injuries. Besides Jones and Hawkins, the team still has Brandon Tate, Ryan Whalen and Armon Binns who can play opposite all-universe phenom and super, mega-star A.J. Green. All three have played some significant snaps in 2012, but none has made more than a modicum contribution to the passing game.
Our hope is that Jones, who was making a name for himself before he went down in the first moments of the Pittsburgh game, will be able to pick up the slack. However, Sanu and Jones are different players and bring different things to the offense. Jones is a guy they like to stretch the field with his speed, while Sanu is more of a possession guy with great size.
At any rate, the Bengals will likely go to San Diego without one of their better young players, and may be without him down the playoff stretch.