By Conrad Clowers
Herald Sports Writer
Almost from the moment he came into the league, Tyler Boyd has been one of the Bengals most dangerous weapons. The University of Pittsburg star has been a mainstay and has already made his mark in Bengal history. Boyd is now a Bengal veteran and is currently playing in his sixth NFL season.
For players like Tyler Boyd, they don’t get top billing headlines. The same way award shows give out best actor and best supporting actor, Boyd is a supporting player. For the first five seasons of his NFL career, A.J Green was wide receiver #1. Green received the most attention, the most praise, and the most respect. It was Boyd who played under the radar and may have been even more clutch than Green. Outside of an injury riddled 2017, the former Pitt Panther has been the model of consistency. He has had two seasons where he has had over 1,000 receiving yards. Boyd has averaged 64 receptions per season. If you do the math, that is about four per game.
This season, the Pittsburg native has had to take a back seat to yet another top receiver. Jamar Chase has taken the league by storm. The Bengals top 2021 draft choice has been as advertised. He is having one of the great rookie seasons of all time. With Chase and Tee Higgins commanding much of the attention, Boyd has seemingly been the forgotten man. He is on average to have his lowest output in yardage since his rookie season. Many wide receivers are divas. Once they go so long without getting their desired number of catches, the complaining starts. This has not been the case with Boyd. Boyd has been quiet. He has let his play do the talking. Once the ball comes to him he produces.
This past week against the Las Vegas Raiders it was obvious through his targets and receptions, QB Joe Burrow and the offensive game plan committee had made a concerted effort to include Boyd more in the plan. Boyd finished the game with six catches for 49 yards. Cincinnati ultimately won the game comfortably 32-13.
A tough stretch of critical games for the Bengals are coming up. If the team is going to make their first post season in 6 years they will need to utilize all their weapons. Boyd has proven to be one of the best slot receivers in the NFL throughout his career. In 2019 Boyd signed a 4-year contract to pay him about $10 million a season. He is currently in the third of the 4 years. Who knows what his future will hold after next season.
There’s an old saying. It goes, “Use it or lose it.’’ Should Boyd continue to not be part of Bengal game plans, you may ultimately see him in another uniform in the future.