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Bengals to hold joint practices with Vikings during training camp

Marvin Lewis and Mike Zimmer will face each other in the first week of the preseason, and word has it that their two squads will hold joint practices beforehand.

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Update: The Bengals will hold joint practices in Cincinnati with the Minnesota Vikings on August 10-11 ahead of the teams' August 12 preseason matchup at Paul Brown Stadium.


Mike Zimmer and Marvin Lewis haven't seen each other much since Zimmer took an offer to become the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings, but that will change in 2016. Not only will the two coaches face each other in the preseason, but their two teams will reportedly hold joint practices in the week heading up to the game.

ESPN's Ben Goessling first reported the joint practices via Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen.

Joint practices have become more commonplace for the Bengals and the rest of the NFL. Last season, the Bengals held joint practices with the Giants. In 2013, the Bengals and Jets were planning on holding joint practices before the two teams' plans fell through.

The joint practices will be held on the PBS practice fields and will be open to the public with no admission charge, as part of the Bengals' 2016 Training Camp. The Aug. 10 practice will begin at 3 p.m., and the Aug. 11 practice is to begin at 11 a.m.

"Our past experiences with joint practices have been good," Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said. "You put yourself on the field with another team and let the competitive juices flow a little bit.  And it's great that we could work this out with Zim."

"Having such a great relationship with Marvin and the Bengals organization, it makes it a perfect fit for us to practice there," Vikings coach and former Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer added.

With the NFL's Collective Bargaining Agreement limiting teams' ability to practice in pads and decreasing the frequency of those practices, NFL clubs like the Bengals are relying more on joint practices to offer a higher intensity practice and more opportunities to practice with in-game scenarios. Lewis is a fan of joint practices, as he believes they offer a chance for players to approach practice like they do games.

"It's not something we've been able to do every year with another team, but our past experience with it has been good," Lewis said last year of the Bengals' joint practices with the New York Giants. It helps our guys stay sharp and focused as we move through the preseason. You put yourself on the field with another team and let the competitive juices flow a little bit."

When the Bengals and Vikings hold their joint practices this summer, the Bengals will meet old friends Terence Newman, Andre Smith and Emmanuel Lamur, the latter two of whom were signed by the Vikings this offseason.