Zac Taylor unveiled his sixth different offensive line combination in his 12th game as Bengals head coach at Sunday’s game against the Jets at Paul Brown Stadium. No surprise, really, in this season of flux up front.
They’ve gone back to rookie left guard Michael Jordan in his first start since being benched early in the season. After the Bengals traded up to get Ohio State’s Jordan, it was assumed he’d get a chance in the last portion of the season even before he surprisingly won the starting job out of training camp. And, Billy Price, who replaced Jordan after the fifth game, is nursing a back issue, although he went full in practice last week and was active Sunday.
Jordan, whose struggles against the Steelers back on Sept. 30 sparked the move to Price, faces a Jets defensive line ranked No. 1 against the rush and allowing just 2.6 yards per carry in the last month. It’s his first appearance with left tackle Cordy Glenn, making his second start of the season. Alex Redmond had been dialed up to play left guard last week in the Steelers rematch, but suffered a season-ending torn bicep on the last snap of warmups.
On Saturday the Bengals waived back-up tackle Andre Smith so they could activate tight end Mason Schreck from the practice squad and on Sunday they deactivated another backup tackle in John Jerry. That leaves rookie Fred Johnson as the lone backup tackle. The massive 6-8 Johnson has played in one game with Taylor potentially using him like he used Jordan the past month as a sixth linemen to combat the Jets’ blitzes.
Schreck, a 2017 seventh-round pick who played his first six games last season, made his 2019 debut Sunday when tight ends Drew Sample (ankle) and Cethan Carter (ankle) were inactive. Schreck probably won’t get used that much from scrimmage, but he needed to fill in on special teams, where Carter is a core player with four tackles in the kicking game.
Joining Jerry, Carter and Sample on the inactive list were injured wide receiver A.J. Green (ankle) as well as third quarterback Jake Dolegala, backup cornerback Torry McTyer and backup defensive end Anthony Zettel.
View photos from the Week 13 matchup as the Bengals host the Jets at Paul Brown Stadium.