The Cincinnati Bengals have become one of the top teams in the NFL this season behind the young duo of quarterback Joe Burrow and wide receiver Ja'Maar Chase. After achieving a 10-7 record during the regular season, the Bengals will return to the playoffs for the first time since 2015. The franchise begins its chase for a super bowl at home on Saturday against the Las Vegas Raiders.
It's possible that Burrow could have another weapon in the arsenal to bolster a group of skill players that includes Chase, wide receiver Tee Higgins, wide receiver Tyler Boyd, running back Joe Mixon, and tight end C.J. Uzomah. According to the Cincinnati Bengals, former Florida State wide receiver Auden Tate has been cleared to return to practice. This means that the team has a 21-day window to activate Tate to the 53-man roster or to apply a different designation.
Tate appeared in the Bengals' first seven games but he's been unable to take the field since. He was placed on injured reserve on December 4 after suffering a calf injury. Towards the end of the month, he tested positive for COVID-19, which further setback his return. Tate recorded three catches for 39 yards and a touchdown during the regular season.
The Florida native has spent the entirety of his four-year career in Cincinnatti after being drafted to the franchise out of Florida State in 2018. Tate was the team's second-leading receiver in 2019, recording 40 catches for 575 yards and a touchdown. He has totaled 61 catches for 799 yards and two touchdowns with the Bengals.
The potential addition of Tate to the lineup means Cincinnatti could have a massive size advantage on the outside. Tate stands at 6-foot-5 and Chase (6-foot-1), Higgins (6-foot-4), Boyd (6-foot-2), and Uzomah (6-foot-6) are all rangy as well.
It has been 54 years since the franchise was founded and the Bengals have never won a championship. They'll be looking to change that behind the arm of Burrow over the next few weeks.
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