When the Cleveland Browns visit Paul Brown Stadium on Sunday for the Cincinnati Bengals’ home opener, the reception will be anything but frosty for Frostee.
Cleveland defensive end Frostee Rucker, the Bengals’ third-round pick in 2006, will make his first start against his former team after signing a free-agent contract with the Browns in the offseason.
“Frostee’s a really good guy, and it sucks to see him with that Browns uniform on,” defensive tackle Domata Peko said. “I wish he was here with us, but he ain’t and the show must go on. He’ll probably poke his head around (Saturday) and come see us because he’s a good friend of ours. I can’t wait to see him.”
Rucker and Peko (fourth round) were members of one of the Bengals’ more successful draft classes of the last decade. The group also includes first-round pick Jonathan Joseph, now a starting cornerback in Houston, and offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth.
“You look at J-Joe, myself, Domata, Frostee, I think it’s definitely a class that produced and was successful,” Whitworth said. “I think everyone here has a good relationship with him. It will be a fun contest, another game playing against a great competitor.”
Hampered by injuries early in his career, Rucker started eight games in his first five seasons in Cincinnati. But he started 12 last year, including the wildcard game in Houston, and played in all 17.
He told reporters in Cleveland this week he is looking forward to his return to Cincinnati.
“I’m sure it’s going to be very exciting,” Rucker said. “It’s a sellout. That’s a big deal, and there’s not going to be a blackout so that’s huge. I’m just excited to go back there and play some good ball.”
Binns promoted: Wide receiver Armon Binns has officially moved ahead of Brandon Tate on the depth chart. The University of Cincinnati graduate was listed as the backup heading into the opener Monday night in Baltimore, but he got the start and finished with four catches for 28 yards.
Binns was on the field for 56 of the team’s 72 offensive snaps, while Tate was in for just 17 plays on offense. Tate will remain the starting kick and punt returner.
He had all three kickoff returns (21.3 average) and both punt returns (9.5 average) against the Ravens.
Mays fined: According to multiple reports, Bengals safety Taylor Mays was fined $21,000 for his hit against Baltimore tight end Ed Dickson in Monday night’s 44-13 loss.
Mays was one of three safeties who drew $21,000 fines on kickoff weekend, joining Washington’s Madieu Williams, a former Bengal, and Denver’s Rahim Moore.