Hakeem Adeniji

Vikings To Promote OL Hakeem Adeniji

After failing to make the Bengals’ 53-man roster, Hakeem Adeniji quietly caught on with the Vikings’ practice squad. The veteran offensive lineman will have another chance on an active roster soon.

The Vikings are promoting Adeniji to their 53-man squad, The Score’s Jordan Schultz tweets. Rather than a gameday elevation, this move will bump the fourth-year blocker to the active roster on a full-time basis. Adeniji has not been a gameday elevation yet this season, but instead of the Vikings going through the process of using elevations to bring him onto the roster, a midweek bump will take place.

Adeniji went from starting in Super Bowl LVI to seeing the Bengals move to replace him during free agency a month later. After the Bengals signed Alex Cappa to replace Adeniji, the former sixth-rounder out of Kansas resurfaced as a starter in the playoffs. Adeniji started in each of Cincinnati’s three playoff games, working as a La’el Collins right tackle replacement on what became a decimated O-line.

Pro Football Focus was not high on Adeniji’s work in either of the past two seasons, and the Bengals moved on ahead of the final season of his rookie contract. The Bengals’ Orlando Brown Jr. signing helped lead Adeniji off the roster. Jonah Williams is now at right tackle in Cincinnati, with D’Ante Smith and Jackson Carman in place as swingmen.

Overall, Adeniji has 15 starts on his NFL resume. He joined Dalton Risner as a late addition for the Vikings, who returned their starting five offensive linemen from last season. Risner has played in Minnesota’s past two games but has not logged an offensive snap with his new team yet. The four-year Broncos starter has considerably more starting experience than Adeniji, though the latter offers more versatility due to his tackle experience. Both will be in place as Vikings backups soon.

Bengals Reduce Roster To 53, Place T La’el Collins On Reserve/PUP List

The Bengals have worked their way down to the 53-man roster limit. Here are the moves made on Tuesday to finalize their initial squad:

Released:

Waived:

Placed on reserve/PUP list:

Placed on IR:

Collins will miss at least the first four weeks of the season given his PUP designation. The former Cowboy signed a three-year, $21MM deal in free agency last offseason to operate as Cincinnati’s right tackle starter. His play in his debut season was underwhelming, however, and that role will belong to Jonah Williams this season, unless the latter misses time or Collins usurps him on the depth chart. A knee injury is to blame for Collins’ missed time, per the team.

Both Pesefea and Tell will miss the entire season, as is the case for all players placed on IR before being named to the initial 53-man roster. They will either remain with the organization during the campaign, or be released via an injury settlement which would allow them to find a new opportunity elsewhere.

Jones represents a more experienced cut than most of the other players let go. The former second-rounder has 57 games and 27 starts to his name, and he split his time between the Seahawks and Raiders last season. Moving on from Jones further signals the team’s intention of relying on younger options like Cam Taylor-Britt and rookies DJ Turner and DJ Ivey in the secondary.

Losing Adeniji (unless he clears waivers and is retained via the practice squad, as will no doubt be the case for many of the players listed above) would leave the Bengals thin along the O-line, especially in light of the Collins news. The 2020 sixth-rounder has experience at multiple positions up front, but his level of play has been a contributing factor in the team’s urgency in pursuing free agent blockers in recent years.

Bengals Set To Complete Offensive Line Renovation

The Bengals fell just short of their first ever Super Bowl win in their third appearance in the league’s season finale. As the final seconds ticked away, analysts’ fingers started pointing, with many of them directed at Cincinnati’s lackluster offensive line. 

In their loss to the Los Angeles Rams, the Bengals fielded Trey Hopkins at center, Jonah Williams at left tackle, Isaiah Prince at right tackle, Hakeem Adeniji at left guard, and Quinton Spain at right guard. Hopkins and Spain are free agents, no longer on the roster. Adeniji and Prince retain their roster spots, but are no longer projected to start. Williams, perhaps the only bright spot on the line last year, will return as the blindside blocker.

The Bengals worked ferociously in the offseason to address their deficiencies on offensive line. They signed three free agent offensive lineman who are all expected to come in and start right away. Ted Karras comes to Cincinnati after starting experience at center in both New England and Miami. Alex Cappa comes to town after three strong seasons as the Buccaneers’ starter at right guard. La’el Collins is ready to bookend the line with Williams after years of starting experience at right tackle in Dallas.

With Karras at center, Collins and Williams at tackle, and Cappa at right guard, that leaves one position up for grabs. The current favorite to start at left guard is 2021 second-round draft pick Jackson Carman. Carman served mainly as a backup last year for the Bengals earning six starts on the year while playing in every game. The main concern with starting Carman is the fact that he couldn’t supplant any of the lackluster starters from last year. Perhaps with a year of NFL football under his belt now, Carman will blossom into a strong starter at left guard.

The other favorite to man the last spot on the offensive line comes from Cincinnati’s most recent draft class, according to Ben Baby of ESPN. The Bengals used one draft pick this year on an offensive player, bestowing that honor upon the 23-year-old tackle out of North Dakota State, Cordell Volson. Volson served as the Bison’s right tackle in his last college years, but had experience at all four guard and tackle positions during his time in Fargo. That versatility will certainly come in handy as many college tackles tend to move to an interior lineman position if they aren’t projected to dominate as a tackle at the next level. Volson is sure to give Carman a run for his money as the Bengals look to put the finishing touch on their full offensive line renovation.

All the players mentioned above are the favorites to contribute on the offensive line this year, but the following players will attend camp with the hopes of stealing a starting job. At center, Cincinnati also rosters Trey Hill, Lamont Gaillard, and undrafted rookie Ben Brown. At guard, the Bengals’ roster lists D’Ante Smith and undrafted rookie Desmond Noel. The only tackle on the roster that wasn’t already mentioned is undrafted rookie Devin Cochran.

Bengals Down To 53

The Bengals are in the books. With less than an hour before the deadline, the Bengals announced a series of roster cuts to take them down to 53. Here’s the full rundown:

Placed on Reserve/Non-Football Injury list:

Placed on Reserve/Injured list:

Released:

Waived:

For now, this leaves the Bengals with seven wide receivers on the roster: Ja’Marr ChaseTyler Boyd, Mike Thomas, Auden Tate, Stanley Morgan Jr., Tee Higgins, and Trenton Irwin. Meanwhile, they’re down a couple starters from last year in Michael Jordan and Mike Daniels.

Bengals OL Hakeem Adeniji Could Be Out For Season

Hakeem Adeniji is likely done for the season. Bengals head coach Zac Taylor revealed that the offensive lineman will likely be sidelined for the entire 2021 campaign after undergoing surgery (via Geoff Hobson of the team’s website).

Adeniji tore a pectoral muscle less than two weeks ago, necessitating the surgery. There’s a chance that the recovery time only takes a few months, but it sounds like Taylor is assuming that the lineman will be out for the entire season.

This is a tough break for the 23-year-old. The 2020 sixth-round pick had an opportunity to build off an impressive rookie campaign that saw him appear in 15 games with five starts. Adeniji ultimately saw time in 22-percent of his team’s offensive snaps and 13-percent of his team’s special teams snaps.

The lineman logged snaps at both tackle spots and even tight end last season, and his versatility meant he was likely to retain his spot on the roster. As Hobson notes, there was even some optimism that Adeniji could start at one of the guard spots, meaning the Bengals will have to dig into their offensive line depth to replace the second-year pro. Per Hobson, D’Ante Smith could see more snaps at offensive tackle, while the team could turn to a handful of guard candidates (including Xavier Su’a-Filo, Quinton Spain, and Michael Jordan).