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Andre Smith claims he's down to 330 pounds; limited practice on Wednesday

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Months, we've waited. Actually, it seems like we've waited forever. Bengals draft Andre Smith. Smith sits out a long time during negotiations. Smith signs a month after training camp begins. Smith has noticeably gained weight. Smith goes to practice. A few days later, Smith breaks foot. Smith out until November. Smith nominated for the "I can't catch a break award". Pun totally intended.

Now, we can add, Smith practices with team. Sorta. It's probably foolish to think that Smith will start against the Chicago Bears Sunday. And it's probably just as unlikely he'll even play because he's still not cleared for contact yet. And boy, Paul Alexander doesn't seem happy.

“He can’t do contact. What is that? We saw him do the same things as last week,” offensive line coach Paul Alexander said. “I don’t know (how much progress he has made). I have to see him do something. I wish I knew. I wish I had some more information.”

In the meantime, Joe Reedy points out that Andre Smith has gotten his weight under control and his conditioning is improved.

Another thing that has improved, besides Smith’s conditioning, has been his weight. Compared to when he signed on Aug. 30, Smith is noticeably lighter and said that he weighs less than 350 pounds (“I’m way under that”) or 345 (“You’re off on that too”). He ended the guessing game when asked if he was at 330.

That's going to put a wrinkle for all of those that have nothing better to say about him than calling him fat. Still, 330 pounds? That's actually... impressive. Speculation is that we probably won't see Smith until after the bye week. Even then, it's suspect if he'll start so soon. Furthermore, there's going to be a brief competition at right tackle. All things being equal, Smith is probably the best choice out of Anthony Collins and Dennis Roland. But all things aren't equal. It's just a matter of when Smith is ready. He was classified as having limited practice on Wednesday. But as Reedy points out in the two links above, that's kind of generous.