The Bengals hit the field Thursday for Day 7 of training camp though they did so without most of their offensive line. Three starters were out, including Andrew Whitworth, Andre Smith and Clint Boling. That left rookies and newly-signed backups to run with the first-team offense.
Also out were Marvin Jones, Jermaine Gresham and Andrew Whitworth, all of whom have yet to make their training camp debut. Cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick made his return.
With so many guys at on the o-line, undrafted free agent guard Trey Hopkins got some run with the starters. He impressed during OTAs, and has done well thus far in camp. Look for him to make the 53-man roster or practice squad.
The offensive line in general was more like a MASH unit Thursday with so many guys out. That left Will Svitek and Marshall Newhouse as the starting tackles while Hopkins was at guard. This certainly isn't the offensive line the Bengals hope to have for the majority of 2014, but this is a good indicator as to who the backups are in case a starter goes down. The fact that Tanner Hawkinson hasn't got much run with the 1st is concerning for his chances to make the 53-man roster.
Another rookie who's impressing is 7th-round receiver James Wright. Looking to make the roster as a 6th or 7th WR, Wright has impressed during camp after a nice showing in OTAs.
The day in general was devoted to mostly special teams, but there was an 11-on-11 period in which Andy Dalton was hot, hitting his first seven passes before Robert Geathers batted down a pass at the line of scrimmage. Dalton was performed very well in camp, and Geathers has also been a nice surprise as he looks to hold onto his roster spot.
Another bright spot on the offense was Tyler Eifert. With Gresham out, Eifert has gotten the bulk of the work at TE, and he's consistently been gashing the defense down the seam for huge gains. Eifert's biggest plays as a rookie came running down the seam wide open when linebackers couldn't keep up with him.