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Takeaways from Bengals open practice in Dayton

After a training camp and preseason full of injuries, the Bengals had several players return to practice on Sunday. But, several remain off-the-field, too.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals-Training Camp Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals moved Sunday's practice out of Cincinnati and into Dayton.

There, the team held an open practice at West Carrollton High School, giving fans from northern and western Ohio an easier chance to drive over to watch the Bengals practice.

It was a fairly light session with players in shoulder pads and shorts, but it was still a great opportunity for fans to come out and support their team for what likely was the last open practice of 2016.

Here is a recap of what took place.

Healthy Returns

The big story Sunday was the number of injured Bengals making their way back to practice. The most notable of which was Brandon LaFell, who is expected to play in the next preseason game in Jacksonville. The fact that LaFell is already back practicing bodes well for his hand injury and not needing surgery.

Also returning to practice was backup kicker Zach Hocker. After missing most of the past three weeks with an ankle injury, Hocker now will battle Mike Nugent for his job after the latter has struggled in the preseason.

Nugent will probably hold onto his job, but after missing two field goals and an extra point thus far in the preseason, he needs to be pushed for his job.

The Bengals also had Rex Burkhead practicing after his minor shoulder injury suffered against the Lions. Jake Kumerow practiced after a hamstring injury has cost him much of the past month.

Notable Absentees

While the Bengals got several players back, many others were not able to practice. Among those not practicing were Vontaze Burfict, Alex Redmond, Mario Alford, Andrew Billings, Darqueze Dennard, William Jackson III, Tyler Eifert, Tyler Kroft, Jake Fisher, Cedric Ogbuehi, and Brandon Thompson.

Of those names, Burfict is the only one who it looks like was just getting the day off as he did not even make the trip. The same is not true of Alford, who continues to sit with an ankle injury that could cost him his roster spot.

Ogbuehi is dealing with a toe injury, while Fisher has an ankle sprain. That left veteran Eric Winston as the starting right tackle for Sunday's practice. That's less than ideal if it is the case in Week 1 against a strong Jets defense.

Dennard continues to sit with an ankle injury that Marvin Lewis originally said was only going to keep the third-year corner out a week or so. It looks like 'so' will end up being at least a three-week ordeal with no clear-cut return date. Though, he’s hoping to return by the season opener.

Thompson is still on PUP and may remain there to start the season. Jackson and Billings will likely end up on I.R. with their injuries, though Jackson may be able to return late in the season.

Kroft is still recovering from his knee issue and trying to return for Week 1. Meanwhile, Eifert continues his rehab from ankle surgery and still looks unlikely for Week 1.

The WildBurk?

The Bengals have been pulling out an occasional trick play here and there during training camp. Most of those have been with Tyler Boyd lining up as a Wildcat quarterback and either handing it off or chucking it deep, but this time, is was Rex Burkhead's turn.

The backup running back got snaps lining up at quarterback and took a direct snap while Jeremy Hill was in the backfield and Andy Dalton was lined up out wide. With the Bengals having Burkhead, Hill and Giovani Bernard all being quality backs, perhaps this could be a way to get all three snaps this year instead of Hill and Bernard having all the fun.

Great Showing by Fans

Most open Bengals practices see only about 2,000 fans in attendance with not much room to hold more at the Paul Brown Stadium fields. That wasn't the case in Dayton, as West Carrollton held around 6,000 fans ready to support the boys in stripes.

Head coach Marvin Lewis also addressed the West Carrollton football team prior to practice.

The Bengals resume closed practices on Monday and will also practice on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this week before traveling to Jacksonville for a primetime preseason Week 3 dress rehearsal against the Jaguars.