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40 days until Bengals' regular-season opener

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Charles Alexander, Ron Lamb and Shawn Williams are among the notable names to wear the No. 40 with the Bengals.

We're now just 40 days away from the Bengals being back on the field for regular-season football.

That means it's time for a look back at former players who wore the No. 40 during their NFL careers in Cincinnati.

PLAYER YEARS
Ron Lamb 1968-71
Pete Watson 1972
Charles Alexander 1979-85
David McCluskey 1987
John Holifield 1988-89
Myron Bell 1998-99
Madieu Williams 2004-07
Brian Leonard 2009-12
Shawn Williams 2013
Derron Smith 2015

The First

The first Bengal to wear the No. 40 in Cincinnati was fullback Ron Lamb. Drafted out of South Carolina by the Dallas Cowboys in the 13th round (190th overall) of the 1966 NFL Draft, Lamb had brief stints in Dallas and Denver before joining the Bengals in 1968. In Cincinnati, Lamb would play 46 games while running for 100 yards on 33 career attempts.

The Best

In the 1979 draft, the Bengals selected LSU running back Charles Alexander in the first round (12th overall). Alexander would go on to play in 102 games (73 starts) while rushing for 2,645 yards and 13 scores on 748 attempts. He also caught 165 passes for 1,130 yards and two more scores. Alexander ranks 8th in franchise history in career rushing attempts and 10th in career rushing yards.

Currently

Derron Smith will don the No. 40 as a rookie this year after Cincinnati drafted him out of Fresno State in the sixth round (197th overall) of the 2015 NFL draft. Don't let his sixth-round tag deceive you. Smith is an immensely talented player who will be on someone's final 53-man roster if he's healthy and goes through all of training camp and the preseason.

Ironically, one of the other safeties he's fighting for playing time and/or a roster spot with is Shawn Williams, the last man to wear the No. 40 in Cincinnati. Williams wore the number during his rookie year before switching to the No. 36 in 2014.