The Bengals will take on the Bears in their third preseason game with most of their starters and key backups ready to play.
Among those set to make their 2015 debuts are three offensive lineman: starting right tackle Andre Smith, second-round rookie Jake Fisher and backup guard Trey Hopkins. All three have missed the first two preseason games with injuries, but are expected to play tonight.
Cornerback Darqueze Dennard is among those not playing tonight as his groin injury continues to keep him out. He did return to practice this week though, so this could be the Bengals just being cautious with him.
Starting linebacker Emmanuel Lamur is being held out tonight as he deals with a hamstring injury. He suffered it during Monday night's loss to the Bucs and didn't practice this week leading up to tonight's game. As long as this injury isn't serious, it could be a blessing in disguise with so many linebackers fighting for roster spots. Lamur being out will lead to more snaps for those guys and hopefully allow the coaches to better evaluate them and make a final decision on who makes the team easier.
Defensive end Michael Johnson won't play tonight as his sprained MCL continues to hold him out of practice. The good news is he was able to work on the rehab field at practice this week, so Johnson could be ready for Week 1 at Oakland, but won't play in the preseason.
Other Bengals players not playing on Saturday night include Tevin Reese, Brandon Ghee, Vontaze Burfict, Sean Porter, Cedric Ogbuehi and Onterio McCalebb.
#Bengals not expected to play tonight: Tevin Reese Dennard Brandon Ghee Burfict Sean Porter Lamur Ogbuehi Onterio McCalebb Michael Johnson— Coley Harvey (@ColeyHarvey) August 29, 2015
There could end up being others who don't play tonight, but that looks like a promising sign that Andre Smith and Jake Fisher will dress.— Coley Harvey (@ColeyHarvey) August 29, 2015
With that, it means Trey Hopkins and Jake Fisher make their season debut. And Andre Smith returns. #Bengals— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) August 29, 2015