Bengals high on Darius Phillips as he takes on punt returns

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Bengals high on Darius Phillips as he takes on punt returns
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The Cincinnati Bengals continue to have huge expectations for cornerback Darius Phillips.

A comment from Bengals special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons, captured by Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic, says it all: “I feel better about him right now than I have at any point he’s been here.”

Coaches have praised Phillips for taking on the punt-returner competition and from the sounds of it, he’s won the competition, fending off names like Trent Taylor.

While Phillips doesn’t project to play a massive role in the base defense (but he’s a superb backup), he’s proven to be a deadly returner when available. But a combination of other viable names and his own availability — he’s missed 13 games since entering the league in 2018 — have limited his chances.

But if Phillips’ body can hold up, it sounds like all of the other factors are out of the way and he’s the guy on punt returns.

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