The Bengals kicked off their training camp in Dayton, Ohio this season. It was part of celebrating the NFL’s 100th anniversary as Dayton was one of the first locations of an NFL game.
It was a nice treat for fans in the area to get the first glimpse at what a Zac Taylor training camp will look like. This is Taylor’s first season taking over the head coaching duties following the firing of Marvin Lewis.
Overall, it is just great to see the team out on the field actually practicing, so let's take a look at what happened on the first day.
The Bengals had a good start to their training camp as tight end Tyler Eifert and wide receiver A.J. Green started off the day healthy. These two are obviously very important to the passing game’s success in 2019. They will probably warrant the most attention of all the Bengals receivers when they are on the field.
It didn’t take long before one was in the news with an injury scare. Green went down with an ankle injury during practice. He was going up for a pass while being defended by Dre Kirkpatrick but came down awkwardly, leading to the veteran wide receiver showing plenty of frustration on the sideline.
The good news at this point is that initial reports painted it as a lower leg injury, which always causes concerns over season-ending injuries. It also isn’t related to the foot he had surgery on during the offseason. The severity of Green’s ankle injury has yet to be determined. We will have to wait for medical tests to be done for that information.
For what it’s worth, Kirkpatrick seemed to be doing well in coverage when tasked with guarding Green.
We did get to see the return of defensive tackle Ryan Glasgow and defensive end Carl Lawson from their ACL tears suffered last year. Just seeing them doing work on the field was a great sight to see.
A healthy Glasgow would provide very valuable depth at defensive tackle, while a healthy Lawson is arguably the team’s best pass-rusher. Having both of them would be a major boost to a defense that sorely missed them last season.
As for players not participating, wide receiver John Ross headlines the group. He wasn’t placed on the non-football injury list (NFI) or physically unable to perform (PUP) list, so his exclusion from practice is interesting. Hopefully it is just the coaches being cautious.
After practice, Taylor revealed that Ross just had some tightness prior to practice today, so they held him out just to be precautionary. If that’s the case, then we should see Ross back on the field in the coming days.
As for what took place on the field, the most notable story was John Jerry getting the first-team reps at left guard while Christian Westerman ran with the second team. This will frustrate Bengals fans who were hoping to finally see Westerman get a chance to run with the 1s and hopefully win the starting gig, but for now, it looks like the team wants to see what the veteran Jerry can do there.
The good news is this is only Day 1, so perhaps Westerman will get more time with the 1s as camp rolls on and we’ll finally see what he’s really made of.
Before camp even began, there were several players placed on injury lists in recent days. The most recent additions to the NFI list includes the Bengals first round pick from 2018, center Billy Price. Price’s absence opened up the opportunity for Trey Hopkins to play center with the first team. Hopefully though, Price is able to join the team on the practice field learning the new offense.
The Bengals are already worried about finding a starter at left guard, and an injury to Price on the inside would really be stretching the Bengals offensive line depth early. Linebacker Noah Dawkins and long snapper Clark Harris were also added to the NFI list yesterday.
Cincinnati was also without cornerback Darqueze Dennard, cornerback Darius Phillips, offensive guard Alex Redmond, offensive tackle Jonah Williams and running back Rodney Anderson. All of which, except for Anderson (PUP) are on NFI. It is never ideal to start off training camp on one of these lists, but at this point it isn’t something fans should be overly concerned with as teams can freely take these players off the list before the regular season.
As for additions and subtractions to the roster, the Bengals added defensive end Immanuel Turner while waiving running back Darrin Hall. Turner most recently spent time with Cardinals as an undrafted free agent before getting cut. Hall was claimed by the Bengals earlier this offseason when he was waived by the Browns.
The Bengals’ injuries also hit the coaching staff, as linebackers coach Tom Lukabu was seen riding a medical scooter at practice.
Bengals LB coach Tem Lukabu is rocking this sweet scooter while nursing a leg injury. It has side mirrors and turn signals. pic.twitter.com/9nnNIS1RgT— Ben Baby (@Ben_Baby) July 27, 2019
It is hard to believe that the Bengals’ first day of training camp had such a scare with Green, but hopefully we can enjoy days filled with some brighter news very soon.
Until then here is a picture of quarterback Andy Dalton taking necessary precautions to protect himself from the sun. We can only hope his offensive line can protect him as well as this sunscreen in 2019.