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Bengals Bytes (9/5): Cincinnati making preparations for Andrew Luck’s return party

Andrew Luck will be returning after missing over a season, and the Bengals will be his first test in Week 1.

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NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Cincinnati Bengals \Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Hobson's Choice: open season
A lot of questions were answered Tuesday when head coach Marvin Lewis wheeled out his Opening Day depth chart and Alex Redmond was his starting right guard. After the pre-season opener, offensive line coach Frank Pollack made it pretty clear he doesn’t have the same grades as, so PFF is not a good place to start this discussion.

2018 schedule projection
Andrew Luck’s return and homecoming all in one fell swoop is a formidable challenge, even if he hasn’t played in a year. And he’s had his way with the Bengals in that building. But the Colts have a rookie head coach, a rookie offensive coordinator, a rookie defensive coordinator and a rookie special teams coordinator making their NFL debuts, although head coach Frank Reich is one of the best offensive minds in the game and is an experienced play caller. Still, Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis (winner of his last three road openers) and his veteran staff have been here before.

2018 opponent scouting report: Week 1, Bengals offense, probably better than last year!
On September 9, 2018 the Indianapolis Colts will host the old-look Cincinnati Bengals. In this week one match-up I sought to understand our opponent and get a better idea of how they may attack our new-look offense.

Pro Football Focus deep dive: Bengals-Colts
A.J. Green (89.7): No surprise here Green was the highest graded Cincinnati player during the preseason. You don’t need PFF to tell you Green is good. You did need them to tell you to keep an eye on his yards after catch this season. Last year he didn’t break free as much, averaging 3.9 yards after the catch per reception. That ranked behind both Brandon LaFell (4.7) and Tyler Boyd (4.2). This preseason, he averaged 5.4 yards after catch per reception, albeit in a small sample size of seven receptions.

Cincinnati Bengals brace for return of Colts Andrew Luck
No secrets were shared in last week’s clash at Paul Brown Stadium, as both teams sat the majority of their starters to let backups battle for roster spots and play calls were relatively vanilla in a game Indianapolis won 27-26 on a late touchdown.

4 takeaways from Bengals’ first depth chart of 2018
The Cincinnati Bengals dropped their first depth chart of the season Tuesday ahead of Sunday’s encounter with the Indianapolis Colts. While Marvin Lewis isn’t necessarily a fan of the old-school process, it offers some interesting insights into the team’s approach.

Random Bytes

Le'Veon Bell Reportedly Expected to Join Steelers Wednesday After Holdout
Members of the Pittsburgh Steelers reportedly expect running back Le'Veon Bell to rejoin the team Wednesday following a holdout that extended through the end of the preseason.

Malcolm Butler Will Conquer Again | Bleacher Report | Latest News, Videos and Highlights
The Patriots may have stopped believing in him. But he never stopped believing in himself. Now, the chip on his shoulder has caught on in Tennessee. Part 1 of Vs. Everybody—B/R Mag's look at the guys taking on the whole NFL this season.

Tyrod Taylor Named Browns Starting QB over Baker Mayfield During 'Hard Knocks'
The Cleveland Browns seemingly didn't trade for Tyrod Taylor to have him sit on the bench. Tuesday's episode of Hard Knocks on HBO featured head coach Hue Jackson telling Baker Mayfield he will be the backup quarterback to start the season.

Report: Earl Thomas Not Expected to Play Week 1, Cowboys Offering 3rd-Round Pick
Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas is not expected to play in Week 1 against the Denver Broncos as he continues his holdout, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. "Until something changes, my understanding is Earl Thomas is not expected to show up and play for the Seahawks," Rapoport said on NFL GameDay Season Preview Tuesday.