CINCINNATI — Sam Hubbard’s popularity in his hometown is obvious this season. The rookie defensive end has made as strong an impact at the Bengals Pro Shop as he has on the field.
Hubbard, a former Ohio State University and Moeller High School standout, is fourth among Bengals players in jersey sales this season and first among the team's defense. There have been 100 Hubbard jerseys sold through the Bengals Pro Shop this season, the team said Thursday afternoon.
That does not include the 164 customized jerseys his family and friends bought this past summer. That July order depleted what the Pro Shop had in its inventory for customized jerseys at the time.
Only the jerseys of running back Joe Mixon, wide receiver A.J. Green (now on injured reserve) and quarterback Andy Dalton (injured reserve) have produced greater sales volume this season, according to the team.
“I just think it’s an honor to put on this jersey and represent my hometown,” Hubbard told WCPO Thursday afternoon. “Wins and losses – I want to be out there playing the game right away and representing my hometown and try to make the people here proud.”
Hubbard, a third-round draft pick in April, has six sacks, a forced fumble and 24 solo tackles in 14 games for the Bengals this season, according to Pro Football Reference. He has 34 tackles overall. He had two sacks and three tackles for loss in the Dec. 16 win over the visiting Oakland Raiders, putting him within reach of Carlos Dunlap’s franchise rookie sack record of 10.
Although the attendance of 44,568 was the second lowest of the season at Paul Brown Stadium Dec. 16, Hubbard gave a nod to the fans after the game.
“I appreciate the fans that were there today,” Hubbard said after the game. “I heard them loud and clear.”
The Bengals (6-8) play the Cleveland Browns (6-7-1) at 1 p.m. Sunday.