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Will Clarke impressing in OTAs with Margus Hunt on the mend

Will Clarke is making the most of his opportunity to get more practice reps.

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

OTAs often serve as an opportunity for players who rarely see the field to get practice reps they wouldn't otherwise get.

In Cincinnati, an example of this is Will Clarke. A player who saw few snaps in 2014, Clarke is getting plenty of reps in OTAs with Margus Hunt on the mend and other vets not getting much run.

Clarke's performance in padless practices has managed to catch the eye of fellow defenders thus far, including Michael Johnson:

OTAs are more beneficial for players who are either new or are rookies. Clarke is essentially a rookie after playing just 64 snaps in 2014 after a rough outing in the preseason. He needed a year to bulk up after joining the Bengals as a 6-foot-6, 271-pound project out of West Virginia.

While it's hard to see Clarke making a big impact in 2015, it's certainly possible he passes Hunt on the depth chart. With Hunt nursing an apparent injury that has his availability for training camp in doubt, now is the time for Clarke to not only secure his roster spot for 2015, but show the Bengals he's worthy of being active on gameday and getting snaps on defense.

Even with Johnson back on the roster, the pass rush is still a huge question mark heading into training camp. Clarke is putting himself in a position to get plenty of snaps once camp opens. Then it's just a matter of translating that to a better performance this preseason, which will undoubtedly lead to playing time during the regular season.

Clarke isn't going to accomplish all of this in a padless OTA practice, but he certainly can keep himself on a right track to do so.