Cincinnati Bengals

Former Bengals great Ken Riley named finalist for Pro Football Hall of Fame’s 2023 class

CANTON — The Cincinnati Bengals are another step closer to having one of the team’s all-time greats enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

>>RELATED: Bengals greats Ken Riley, Ken Anderson voted into inaugural Ring of Honor class

Ken Riley, a standout cornerback for the team who played from 1969 to 1983 was selected as one of the three players from the HOF’s Seniors Committee to move onto the next step in the enshrinement process, a spokesperson for the Pro Football Hall of Fame said in a media release Wednesday.

The HOF’s full Selection Committee will consider Riley, the other two Senior Committee nominees, and 15 modern-era players, for enshrinement next year when they meet to elect the entire 2023 class.

Each senior finalist needs at least 80 percent approval from the Selection Committee to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame. Former Dallas Cowboys linebacker Chuck Howley and New York Jets defensive lineman Joe Klecko were the other members selected by the Senior Committee.

>>Cincinnati Bengals reveal new inductees into team’s Ring of Honor for 2022

Riley, whose 65 interceptions still ranks in the top five in NFL history, passed away at the age of 72 in 2020. Riley was selected in the inaugural class of the Bengals Ring of Honor which was unveiled during the 2021 season.

>>Ken Riley, former NFL star, Florida A&M standout and coach, dead at 72

Riley continues to hold the Bengals record for interception return yards and interception returns for touchdowns.

If selected by the Selection Committee, Riley would join Anthony Munoz as the only other Bengals player enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Franchise founder, and former coach Paul Brown is the other member of the franchise already in the HOF.

>>PHOTOS: Cincinnati Bengals uniforms through the years

Excluded from this year’s induction was former Bengal Ken Anderson, who remains on the outside of the Hall of Fame. Anderson was a fellow inaugural inductee into the Bengals Ring of Honor in 2021 with Riley. Anderson played 16 seasons with the team, the most by a Bengals player. He was a four-time Pro Bowler, played in 192 games, and won the NFL MVP in 1981 while leading the team to its first Super Bowl appearance.