Defensive tackle Adolphus Washington made his Bengals debut Sunday against the Dolphins at sun-splashed Paul Brown Stadium as one of four of their 46 active players that played their high school football in Cincinnati.
Head coach Marvin Lewis' active list also marked the Bengals' debut for veteran running back Thomas Rawls. Rawls signed after running back Joe Mixon had a Sept. 15 knee scope, but Lewis opted to go with just two backs the last two weeks in Giovani Bernard and rookie running back Mark Walton. But with Bernard reportedly out the next two to five weeks with a sprained knee, Lewis tapped Rawls. Mixon returned Sunday 22 days after arthroscopic surgery, but it's unclear how much he'll be able to play with the 82-degree heat testing his conditioning.
Same with WILL linebacker Vontaze when he made his season debut Sunday after missing the first four games because of an NFL suspension for violating the PEDs policy. It's unclear how much he'll play with Jordan Evans in the wings after he started the first four games. The move sent rookie linebacker Malik Jefferson to the bench and coincided with his failure last week to make a block on the blocked punt in Atlanta.
Joining Bernard and Jefferson on the inactive list were injured wide receiver John Ross (groin) and injured rookie center Billy Price (foot), as well as three healthy scratches in rookie wide receiver Auden Tate, left tackle Cedric Ogbuehi and defensive tackle Josh Tupou.
Sunday marked a test of the Bengals depth for an offense that came into the game with the second highest scoring four-game stretch to open a season in franchise history.
After Ross injured himself catching a 39-yard touchdown last week in Atlanta, wide receiver Alex Erickson came off the bench to play 36 snaps, the most he's played in more than a year since a career-high 37 in the Sept. 16 loss to Houston last season. He had one catch.