Jon Kitna says a Bengals receiver was “drunk in the huddle”

Cincinnati Bengals v Philadelphia Eagles
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Remember when the NFL squeezed ESPN to ditch the Playmakers show because the league believed it painted an inaccurate picture of life in the NFL? If anything, it was inaccurate because it was too tame.

Former Bengals quarterback Jon Kitna recently shared some stories with Ryen Russillo about Kitna’s time in Cincinnati.

“There were some things that were hard to believe [with the Bengals],” Kitna said, via Cincinnati.com. “There was a time that I played a game with a guy that was drunk in the huddle. There was a time that a guy showed up late to a game. In the NFL, you need to be there two hours, two hours and 15 minutes ahead of time. And he showed up under an hour before the game’s start. Those are weird things, now. That’s tough. I’m not sure if the staff knew. But I think the guy was like — that was kind of his normal. I mean he was drunk and had close to 200 yards receiving now. So it was crazy.”

Kitna didn’t name names, but the circumstances make it not impossible to identify the possibilities. Given that Kitna played for the Bengals from 2001 through 2005, it’s not difficult to identify which receivers “had close to 200 yards receiving” in a game during that five-year stretch.

We’ve done the research and compiled a list of players that it could have been. Three had games of more than 150 receiving yards during Kitna’s time with the team. One had games of 189, 161, and 152. One had 171. Another had 152.

Kitna didn’t name names, so we won’t, either. There are so few that it could be that the ones who it isn’t should be upset that Kitna has defined the possibilities so narrowly.

31 responses to “Jon Kitna says a Bengals receiver was “drunk in the huddle”

  1. I can’t remember his name, but when Chad Johnson and TJ Houshmanzadeh were the starters they had a #3 receiver who was supposedly more naturally talented than both of them but couldn’t get his head on straight. I think he died by falling out of the back of a truck?

    Anyway, that would be my guess.

  2. From my memory of watching Kitna play, there were games where he looked “drunk” on the field …

  3. In his defense, he was playing in Cincy during the dark days….I mean playing in Cincy

  4. Who was it ?! Searching stats will surely lead to possibilities but….hmmf. Off the field issues might also hint to who was drunk tipsy drilling

  5. And the options are:

    Darnay Scott (2001, WK17) 152; Chad Ochocinco (2002, WK12) 152, (2004, WK13) 161, (2004, WK11) 189; and T.J. Houshmandzadeh (2004, WK12) 171

  6. Hard to think it was Chad Johnson since he slept in the stadium his first couple of years.

  7. I feel like him (and you) not “naming names” leads people in the direction of a certain Bengal who was the only one consistently getting over 100 yards per game. But if the 200 is an exaggeration, there’s a much more likely candidate who unfortunately had a lot of issues with alcohol (among other things). It makes the anecdote a little more tragic than funny.

  8. In 2004 Kitna was a DNP in weeks 11-12, which rules out T.J. Houshmandzadeh. So either Chad Ochocinco in ’02 (Week 12) or ’04 (Week 13), or Darnay Scott in ’01 (Week 17)

  9. Gotta be Darnay Scott. Last week of the 2001 season, on a 6-10 Bengals team. Can’t blame him.

  10. Chris Henry…sad to say but he is the only one not able to defend himself from the accusation

  11. Has to be Darnay Scott. TJ is a total pro and Chad never was a drinker. Only other option is Peter Warrick

  12. Ochocinco was a class act…and a hoot to watch. He wasn’t the one that showed up drunk.

  13. studlysmartguy says:
    March 11, 2021 at 11:40 am
    I can’t remember his name, but when Chad Johnson and TJ Houshmanzadeh were the starters they had a #3 receiver who was supposedly more naturally talented than both of them but couldn’t get his head on straight. I think he died by falling out of the back of a truck?

    Anyway, that would be my guess.

    – you are thinking of WR Chris Henry out of WVU but from New Orleans. Chris had issues with alcohol and other brain issues that contributed to his early demise.
    RIP Chris.

  14. Chad doesn’t drink and to my knowledge never did. I would have thought Chris Henry but they only overlapped that one year and Palmer was the QB then. Housh or Darnay Scott would be my guess. Darnay was a holdout from “the old Bengals” when things were run like a 1st grade organization and he probably would have felt ok getting away with something like this. Marvin came in and changed everything so they were finally run like a D3 college team.

  15. Chris Henry’s rookie year was ‘05, which was Kitna’s final year with the Bengals. Henry’s best performance in ‘05 was 85 yards.

  16. I think this is the sort of thing that made Carson Palmer threaten to retire. Mike Brown would let players off the hook and players knew Marvin Lewis had no real authority.

  17. Art Donovan used to tell the story of Lions QB Bobby Lane. Donovan said he sacked Layne in the third quarter of a game and while he was laying on top of him he could smell a heavy odor of booze coming from him. He said, “Boy Bobby, you musta had some night last night”….. Layne replied, “nah, I had a couple at half time!”
    Lane was known for spending many late nights in saloons. Long after he retired, Lane is the one who coined the phrase, “if I knew I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself”.

  18. If you think either of those stories make what was going on in Playmakers seem tame, you didn’t watch Playmakers.

  19. I didn’t think Chris Henry overlapped Kitna at all, but I guess it was the one year where Kitna was the backup to Palmer. Fair to rule out Housh and Johnson. I would have guessed Warrick without seeing the stats, but seems Darnay Scott is the only one to fit the criteria.

    When I was young, the thought of a guy being drunk or high and playing was crazy to me. I played with an All-American in college who was routinely high, but the way he took over games, changed how I viewed things. My guess is that Darnay Scott in 2001 is far from the last NFL player to ball out under the influence.

  20. It’s hard to say since they’ve had more than their share of WRs with massive behavioral issues.

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