The Bengals' third-leading receiver last season, Hawkins has a chance to play in his first game of the season after claiming a roster spot that had been held by defensive back Taylor Mays. Cincinnati moved Mays to the IR on Wednesday; he dislocated his right shoulder in Sunday's 49-9 win over the New York Jets.
Last Sunday, Jones emerged as a major threat in the Bengals' offense, making a franchise-record four touchdown catches. Hawkins' speed and elusiveness will give Andy Dalton another playmaking threat in the passing game.
Hawkins had been on IR with a designation for return since early August after hurting an ankle while diving for a pass during a preseason practice. Per IR rules, he has been working out with the team in full capacity since last Wednesday. He had been cleared to return for practices the week before. IR rules stipulate that this week is the first he could compete in a game.
The third-year player appeared in 14 games last season, ranking third on the team in receptions (51) and receiving yards (533). He also had four touchdowns.
In addition to pulling Hawkins off IR, the Bengals announced Thursday that they re-signed defensive end DeQuin Evans to the practice squad. Evans had been released from the practice squad earlier this week, one day after returning from an eight-game suspension for a violation of the league's policy on performance-enhancements.