The Bengals opted for a new kicker and left guard when they deactivated Randy Bullock and Michael Jordan, respectively, before Sunday's game against Dallas at Paul Brown Stadium.
Special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons gave the nod to Austin Seibert, the former Cleveland Browns kicker who has been on the roster for the previous 11 games and makes his Bengals debut.
Seibert, a fifth-round pick out of Oklahoma in 2019, made 25 of 29 field goals for Cleveland as a rookie last season but missed five of 35 extra-point tries. The Browns cut him after he missed an extra point and field-goal in the opener The Bengals claimed him in the wake of Bullock injuring himself at the end of their opener.
Bullock, the most accurate kicker in Bengals history until he missed three of his last five field-goal attempts and an extra point in the last three games, has been kicking for the Bengals ever since he replaced Mike Nugent late in the 2016 season. Two of his most recent misses came from 53 and 58 with the upright preventing the latter from becoming a team record.
It's believed Seibert becomes just the eighth kicker to work in a game for special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons in his 18 seasons. Bullock, Nugent and Shayne Graham have done the bulk of the work. Dave Rayner, Aaron Pettrey, Clint Stitser and Marshall Koehn were called in for injuries.
Jordan, the usual starter since he arrived in the 2019 fourth round, has had a rough stretch in the past few weeks. He was replaced two weeks ago for the Giants game and started last week against the Dolphins before he was pulled in favor of Xavier Su'a-Filo's first appearance since he broke his ankle in the opener.
Su'a-Filo, a seven-year vet, signed in free agency to start at right guard opposite Jordan, started in his place Sunday on the Bengals' seventh straight different offensive line. He had been a backup for the Cowboys for the past two seasons, but his 77th NFL start comes against his old mates.
As expected, the kicking game underwent another big change for the Cowboys when safety Brandon Wilson (hamstring), the Bengals' best special teams player, was inactive. Safety Shawn Williams, the kicking game's de facto captain, is suspended for the game.
Also inactive were offensive lineman B.J. Finney and Keaton Sutherland.
According to reports, Bengals wide receiver Mike Thomas was fined for $4,853 for his hit on Dolphins punt returner Jakeem Grant. He didn't pay for his second hit on Grant, apparently deemed that Thomas simply had arrived too early as Grant went to catch the punt. Reportedly, the slew of fines from last week's incident were for either unsportsmanlike conduct or unnecessary roughness, although the Bengals coaches vigorously defended Thomas' first hit as not only legal but also mirroring NFL guidelines.
Of all the guys that got hit from an event that escalated when Dolphins head coach Brian Flores walked across the field, Bengals slot cornerback Mackensie Alexander got fined the most with $15,000 for a crack-back block.
Reports said Dolphins wide receiver Mack Hollins was fined for both unsportsmanlike conduct and unnecessary roughness and got hit with $4,412 twice to go along with his ejection. Dolphins receiver DeVante Parker was fined $10,500 after he was ejected for a few swings. Dolphins defensive ends Emmanuel Ogbah ($10,000) and Christian Wilkins ($12,500) also got hit.
Shawn Williams was suspended for a separate incident earlier in the game. He lost his appeal that he had inadvertently stepped on a foe in a pile and was docked a game for stomping.