Jordan Shipley had a strong rookie year in 2010 out of the slot, catching 52 passes for 600 yards and 3 touchdowns, but he tore his ACL early last season and only managed 4 catches for 14 yards. Shipley had a laundry list of injury problems in college at Texas, so much so that he was granted a 6th year of eligibility (it’s why he’s already heading into his age 27 season). The Bengals took a chance on his talent in the 3rd round in spite of his injuries, but, even with his strong 2010, it might not end up paying off.
Shipley admitted today that his surgically repaired knee is still stiff and that he’ll be limited in minicamp, though the team still asserts that he’ll be good to go for Training Camp. This is still obviously not good news for someone with his history of injuries. If Shipley is healthy, he’ll be the team’s slot receiver. That’s almost a certainty or as close as you can get to a certainty on a young and unsorted receiving corps.
However, if Shipley can’t go in the regular season, the Bengals would likely move projected #2 receiver Mohamed Sanu, who played the slot at Rutgers, into the slot in 3 wide receiver sets and whoever is 4th on the depth chart (Marvin Jones? Armon Binns?), would then move outside opposite AJ Green. The Bengals have a lot to sort out at receiver after AJ Green so they would obviously like to get Shipley back healthy. It’s worth noting that Shipley’s admission came on the same day as a report that the Bengals were no longer interested in a veteran receiver.