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Bengals Training Camp 2016: 5 Takeaways from Day 5

Tyler Boyd sent Chykie Brown’s ankles into oblivion. Injuries are hitting hard. Cody Core is still making noise and more takeaways from Day 5 of Bengals camp.

The Bengals hit the practice field Tuesday on a bit of a somber note.

Day 5 of training camp began just hours after news broke that William Jackson III could be done for the year. While he wasn't expected to contribute much as a rookie, he still is a valuable member to this franchise, and losing him so soon surely stings the rest of the team.

Alas, life goes on, and here's a look at our biggest takeaways from what went on at Bengals training camp on Tuesday.

1) Injuries Galore

It's not been a good week for the Bengals on the injury front. William Jackson III may be out for the year due to a torn pectoral muscle suffered Monday. Darqueze Dennard sprained his ankle on Monday and wasn't present on Tuesday.

Jake Kumerow is dealing with a hamstring injury and missed Monday and Tuesday's sessions. Tyler Kroft and Shawn Williams both left Tuesday's session early with injuries. Kroft is expected to have a hyperextended knee, but will have an MRI tomorrow. Williams’ issue is unknown.

This is easily as bad of a two-day stretch as any the Bengals endured last year. The team was very lucky on the injury front for much of 2015 in terms of training camp and practice setbacks, but that's already changing in a big way this year.

Injuries are a part of football, but suffering so many just five days into training camp is a tough pill to swallow.

2) Alonzo Russell Shining

The Bengals typically have at least one undrafted free agent make the final roster. This year, wide receiver is the position where that's most likely to happen with several viable candidates.

Alex Erickson had already looked solid through five camp sessions, but now, Alonzo Russell is making noise as well. The undrafted receiver out of Toledo is coming off a very productive career in the MAC, and is now trying to crack an NFL roster with the team not far from where he's been playing the past four years.

Russell really made some noise on Tuesday with Kumerow sitting out. This could be the former Rocket's time to make his case for the 53-man roster. It's good to see him stepping up and making the most of it.

3) Nick Vigil Emerging

It was a quiet training camp for rookie linebacker Nick Vigil through the first four camp sessions. Though the Bengals spent a third-round pick on the former Utah State defender, Vigil is still facing stiff competition at linebacker with so many quality veterans on the roster.

But on Day 5, Vigil made what's easily one of the best plays of camp thus far. It came as Vigil skied for a one=handed interception off of AJ McCarron.

Vigil also held Giovani Bernard to a short gain on a reception, something the Bengals need help out in terms of coverage backers.

It's good to see Vigil showing flashes of the kind of impact player the Bengals spent a third-round pick on him to become.

4) Cody Core Still Balling

While training camp can make All-Pros out of anyone (see Brandon Tate, Margus Hunt), it's always a great sign when rookies are consistently stepping up. That's been the case with Cody Core, who may be having the best camp of any wide receiver not named A.J. Green.

Being 6'3" and 205 pounds alone makes Core one of the biggest Bengals receivers, and he plays like it too with some of the contested catches he's making over the middle.

If nothing else, Core has made a strong case for being a red-zone receiver who could catch several touchdowns as a rookie. This could help offset the losses of Tyler Eifert and/or Tyler Kroft to injury, which will hurt the Bengals' red-zone production.

As a sixth-round draft pick, Core needs to have a good camp and preseason to secure his roster spot, but he's already boosted his already-good odds with his play thus far. Hopefully, Core will keep playing with that urgency as if he's still on the bubble, which it already looks like he's off.

5) RIP Chykie Brown’s Ankles

Almost as soon as even the thought of another rookie receiver shining came up, Tyler Boyd made sure to let everyone know he’s still here. Boyd has easily looked the part of a second-round receiver thus far into camp, and he looks like a near-lock to be the starting slot receiver this season.

A big part of being a good slot receiver involves short-area burst and quickness to get open close to the line of scrimmage. Veteran corner Chykie Brown learned that the hard way.


What was your biggest takeaway from Day 5 of Bengals camp?