Injuries will prevent two of the Bengals’ top-name wide receivers from playing in the preseason opener at Atlanta on Thursday. Roy Roundtree hopes people remember his after the game.
With leading receiver A.J. Green coming back from a knee injury and slot receiver Andrew Hawkins getting a second opinion on treatment for his ankle, Roundtree is ready to show the skill that helped him haul in 154 receptions for 2,304 yards and 15 touchdowns in four seasons at the University of Michigan.
“Next man up,” said the former Trotwood-Madison standout. “Coach is gonna give us a chance to go out there and display what we’ve put in from mini-camp to the first preseason game. Just trying to get better and make plays.”
Roundtree, undrafted coming out of Michigan, said he expects to see playing time toward the second half of Thursday’s game. He’s hoping for additional face time 10 p.m. Tuesday when HBO’s first episode of Hard Knocks airs.
“They had me miked up two days now,” Roundtree said. “I think of it as scouts being at practice every day. They don’t really get in your way and they’re enjoying their time with us.”
Likewise, Roundtree wants to see an extended run with the Bengals. There are 12 wide receivers currently on the roster. The Bengals broke camp with seven on the roster in 2012.
“It’s more of a learning game; a lot faster,” Roundtree said. “Older guys that’ve been in the league a long time. I compete when I’m out here and I’m learning a lot from the defensive backs to better my game. It’s an incredible opportunity to go out here have fun and make plays.
“I feel like I’ve got a good chance. Coach (James) Urban is really putting us through the test. Our job is to go out there and make plays. You can only control so much. I’m just enjoying this experience. Every day I step on the field I feel like I’m getting better.”
Injury update: Along with Green and Hawkins, the following players will not make the trip to Atlanta: DT Larry Black (ankle), RT Reid Fragel (knee), WR Tyrone Goard (concussion), FB Chris Pressley (knee), TE Alex Smith (knee) and DT Brandon Thompson (knee).
“There’s a group of guys that we’re leaving behind here, based on the fact that they can probably get better work here, with the different rehab things that we have — treadmills, the things in the water and so forth — that will help them speed their process,” Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said.