Sanu takes step forward for Bengals

Mike Wilkening
Bengals place WR Sanu on I.R

Rookie WR Mohamed Sanu got an extended look in Week 10, and he staked his claim to be one of the primary competitors for the starting job opposite of A.J. Green, which has had a revolving-door feel for most of the season. Only Green was targeted more than Sanu, who hauled in four of the six passes thrown his way for 47 yards and one TD.

At various points, Sanu flashed the ability that made him one of the more well-regarded receivers in the 2012 draft. Though not especially fast, he is athletic, sure-handed and strong, and those attributes showed up on Sunday. On a key fourth-down conversion in the second quarter, Sanu showed good field awareness and determination. Covered initially and bumped hard by a Giants linebacker underneath, Sanu stuck with the play, worked back open over the middle of the field and caught a pass thrown slightly behind him for a 15-yard gain.

On his third-quarter TD catch, Sanu was able to shield Giants CB Prince Amukamara just enough on a leaping 10-yard score. Earlier, Sanu also had a three-yard rush for a first down; on the play, he lined up in the backfield and took a shotgun handoff from QB Andy Dalton. Sanu has a varied skill set — he can play multiple WR spots, and he can even play a little quarterback, as he showed when he hit Green with a long TD pass in Week Three. The way we hear it, it looks like Sanu and fellow rookie Marvin Jones are the primary options for the Bengals' other starting WR role. However, Jones is battling a knee injury, and Sanu definitely did well with his opportunity Sunday.