The Bengals were back on the practice field Tuesday for a closed practice session. With only a select few members of the media in attendance for a brief portion of it, news and observations were hard to come by, but there were still several notable developments to come from the day.
Injuries and Possible Impact
A new development to watch for involves stalwart left tackle Andrew Whitworth. He was sitting out Tuesday with what initially appeared to be a veteran's rest day off. However, Whitworth later went to the rehab field to get some work in, indicating there may be some sort of injury he's dealing with.
Also working on the rehab field was receiver James Wright, who has now missed several practices while recovering from microfracture surgery. He did practice yesterday but also sat out on Saturday from the mock scrimmage. He's good enough to make the 53-man roster as a fourth or fifth receiver, but not being able to practice is putting his spot in jeopardy.
One of the biggest headlines from Monday was AJ McCarron sitting out due to a stiff neck. He left the field shortly after stretching began, so he wasn't even present for most of the session. On Tuesday McCarron was once again sitting out, but was at least present in street clothes to watch practice. If he ends up missing Friday's preseason opener, that's huge news for Keith Wenning and Joe Licata as they look to put more film on their resumes.
Wenning looks bound for the practice squad as an emergency quarterback if either Dalton or McCarron gets hurt. However, a good camp and preseason by Wenning could earn him a spot on someone else's roster.
The same is mostly true of Licata, though the undrafted free agent out of Buffalo is facing long odds just to make it onto someone's practice squad. A good showing in the preseason could help increase those odds.
More than likely, we'll see both Wenning and Licata earn more snaps Friday than McCarron, whose neck issue could limit him in the first preseason game.
No New News is Good News
The Bengals didn't get much done on the field Tuesday due to inclement weather.
A lightning delay forced the practice to stop for about half an hour before the team resumed inside.
Rain was already making this a tough day to get anything done when the team was outside.
The good news it sounds like no one was injured during the session. As hard as the Bengals have been getting hit on that front, just making it through a practice with no new injuries is a win for this team.
Dawson Works With Starters
The Bengals were without starting SAM backer Karlos Dansby on Tuesday, who got a veteran's rest day off. That meant second-year linebacker P.J. Dawson was getting the first-team reps at SAM.
This is good news for Dawson, who some thought might be on the roster bubble this year after the final pick of the third round in 2015 rarely saw the field as a rookie. It's still unclear where his best position in the NFL will be.
But with the WILL and MIKE spots do deep, SAM is where Dawson's best chance to play this year are. Seeing him getting first-team reps when Dansby is the only starter sitting out is a good sign that Dawson is in for a bigger role in Year 2.
Also sitting out Tuesday due to undisclosed reasons was backup center T.J. Johnson. There's been a lot of debate as to who the backup and third-string center should be with Christian Westerman having the potential to play there, not to mention guys like Alex Cooper and even Jake Fisher getting reps there as well.
But on this day, it was Alex Redmond who was getting the backup center reps. The undrafted offensive guard out of UCLA was one of the Bengals' better college free agent signings, though he was thought to be primarily a guard.
Seeing Redmond working at center is a great sign for his chances at making either the 53-man roster or practice squad. The Bengals tend to carry just eight offensive linemen on the final roster, but several of those linemen are typically able to play multiple spots.
If Redmond can give the Bengals good snaps at center and guard, he could be a darkhorse candidate for the final roster.