Could Dane Sanzenbacher be a threat to the Dolphins?
The man with the greatest name in the NFL could be due a big night tonight. A shoulder injury to the Cincinnati Bengals number two receiver Mohamed Sanu has left his status for tonight's game against the Miami Dolphins in doubt and would mean a shift in the depth chart.
Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis spoke to the press after training on Monday, stating that if wide receiver Mohamed Sanu was unable to play on Thursday, then Marvin Jones would take more reps in the two receiver sets and that Dane Sanzenbacher would take some of Jones' reps in the slot.
This could be the break that Sanzenbacher has been looking for. After an impressive outing over the course of the preseason that included a 71 yard punt return and a 36 yard touchdown catch in the first game against Atlanta Falcons, Sanzenbacher has shown that he is well able, if put to task and could be set to make some big contributions tonight. He also hauled in a 22 yard pass in the Bengals defeat over the Indianapolis Colts in week 3 of the preseason.
Although putting on a show over the preseason, he has not been given much of a chance to prove himself over the last eight weeks although he has been able to catch everything that has been thrown his way ( five catches on five passes.) He has also made a small but nice contribution for first downs, catching three of his five passes to make the first down.
Tonight's game could also have some implications for Sanzenbacher's future. Sanu has been limited to 25 receptions for 254 yards over the first eight games of the season. Although decent numbers for a lot of back up receivers, these are not quite the numbers that the Bengals would be looking to see from their number two, as Jones, the supposed number three has managed 369 yards and seven touchdowns with one less catch.
As Jones progresses to the number two and with it, we see Sanu's gradual demotion, we could possibly see more playing time for Sanzenbacher, if he is capable of putting up good numbers in tonight's game. A long shot, I know considering Sanu's abilities, but one can speculate wildly!
With the emergence of Jones in the last three weeks, as well as the troubles that teams have had covering the tight end duo of Tyler Eifert and Jermaine Gresham, averaging 29.5% of passes completed between the two of them, Sanzenbacher could be set for a good game. The Dolphins will have more to worry about than to cover the man with the amazing name, so I wouldn't be surprised if he equals his season yardage total in the Thursday night showdown.
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