Bengals rookie wide receiver Jordan Shipley had to laugh when told he was slipping. Of the six regular receivers on the field this Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium, he’s the only without at least 587 career catches.
“I’ve only played one game,” he said, and he’s got a good start with five catches for 82 yards in his debut last week in New England.
According to Santo Labombarda, the Duke of the Decimals for the Elias Sports Bureau, Sunday’s game marks the first time in five seasons five 500-catch receivers are going to be on the field at the same time. Terrell Owens (1,013) and Chad Ochocinco (696) for the Bengals and Derrick Mason (865), Anquan Boldin (593) and T.J. Houshmandzadeh (587) for the Ravens.
In the ’05 finale on Jan. 1, 2006, the Rams trio of Isaac Bruce, Marshall Faulk and Torry Holt faced off against the Cowboys’ Terry Glenn and Keyshawn Johnson. Naturally, no one had more than five catches. Johnson led the way with five for 96 yards.
At least Shipley is ahead of the rookie pace of four of the players, including both The Ocho and Houshmandzadeh from that long-ago ’01 season of Jon Kitna and Peter Warrick and Ron Dugans. The Ocho didn’t get his fifth catch until his fourth game and Houshmandzadeh didn’t get it until he made his first six catches in the eighth week at Jacksonville. Until then, he’d been inactive in four games and blanked in the other three. The Ocho was blanked in his first two games before grabbing two in San Diego.
As for the other debuts: Owens also got blanked in his first two games with the 1996 49ers before also making his first two catches in his third game. Mason had one catch in the 1997 opener for the Titans.
No one will probably ever have a debut like Boldin again. Try 10 catches for 217 yards and two touchdowns for the Cardinals in Detroit to open the 2003 season.
Tags: Jordan Shipley, Shipley and 500-catch pace
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