Bengals' 2021 Captains Reflect Leadership Shift

Joe Mixon: First-time captain.
Joe Mixon: First-time captain.

Quarterback Joe Burrow has two new running mates as offensive captains and Jessie Bates III joined fellow safety Vonn Bell as a defensive captain in a shift of the Bengals leadership group that reflects the growing role of young veterans on the roster.

Wide receiver Tyler Boyd, 26, and running back Joe Mixon, 25, are multiple 1,000-yard performers voted captains for the first time as they replace long-time offensive leaders A.J. Green and Giovani Bernard. Punter Kevin Huber, the senior Bengal in his 13th season with 190 games played, was named special teams captain again.

In the wake of his handling of the spring voluntary workouts, Bates, 24, who has never missed a game in his three seasons, was also voted a first-timer. Fourth-year defensive end Sam Hubbard, 26, also a first-timer, helped Bates, his 2018 draft classmate, organize the workouts in May and June.

Burrow, 24 and Bell, 26, return to their 2020 roles, when they were tapped as captains despite being newcomers. Burrow was the draft's overall No. 1 pick and Bell signed in free agency from New Orleans.