The Bengals appeared to oil up their running game Sunday when they opted to go with as many tight ends (four) as wide receivers against the Patriots' top-ranked NFL defense at Paul Brown Stadium.
With A.J. Green inactive again, head coach Zac Taylor deactivated rookie wide receiver Damion Willis and went with Tyler Boyd, Alex Erickson and rookie Stanley Morgan, Jr. He also sat two offensive linemen in John Jerry and Isaiah Prince while back-up rookie right tackle Fred Johnson has served as the extra man in some O-line alignments lately. Billy Price is the other backup on the list of seven active offensive linemen. It all points to a busy day for Bengals running back Joe Mixon, leading the NFL in carries the past five weeks with 105.
Also inactive were cornerback Torry McTyer, defensive end Anthony Zettel and third quarterback Jake Dolegala. Rookie defensive end Freedom Akinmoladun made his NFL debut on the active roster after being promoted from the practice squad Saturday.
Patriots starting cornerback Jason McCourty was also inactive.