The Bengals wasted no time getting the last public practice underway outside of Paul Brown Stadium today.
By moving practice up to 10:45 local time, the team was able to escape most of the afternoon heat before packing up their things for the nation’s capital tomorrow to face the Washington Redskins on Thursday night.
We seem to know more about the team entering Week 2 of the preseason, and certain trends are becoming more and more apparent, Here’s what went down at today’s practice.
Jordan goes back to back
Michael Jordan wasn’t born until the year 1998, a year after the other Michael Jordan went back to back in ’96 and ’97 fresh off early retirement. The Bengals’ Jordan took starting reps at the open left guard spot today, making it back to back days he worked with the current crop of starters, which means Trey Hopkins also was starting at center over Billy Price.
Same Oline as yesterday with Hopkins at C, Jordan at LG— Jay Morrison (@JayMorrisonATH) August 13, 2019
It’s a safe bet that both Jordan and Hopkins will start on Thursday night, which shows how reactive Zac Taylor and his staff are regarding the struggles of John Jerry, Christian Westerman and Price. Both Jerry and Price are still listed as the starters on the depth chart, but that document wasn’t going to be act so fluid anyways.
As for Westerman, the possibility of him getting cut only increases the longer Jordan remains the favorable option over Jerry.
Worries with the tackles
While Jordan and Hopkins were getting work with the ones, Andre Smith was apparently nowhere to be found, as was Kent Perkins.
#Bengals missing two tackles -Andre Smith and Kent Perkins— Jay Morrison (@JayMorrisonATH) August 13, 2019
Fret not though, Smith eventually showed up.
Smith is safely the best backup tackle they have, but in a situation where he could’ve been called upon, he was not.
Starting left tackle Cordy Glenn appeared shaken up after an apparent collision with linebacker Preston Brown. Glenn seemed fine, but it was John Jerry who replaced Glenn on the line.
Cordy Glenn and Preston Brown slow to get up after screen to Mixon. Cordy goes off. John Jerry at LT. No trainers with Glenn. Zac looks back at him, Glenn gives the “I’m OK” nod— Jay Morrison (@JayMorrisonATH) August 13, 2019
This is at least the third position Jerry has been asked to play this offseason. The coaches might not trust him to start right now, but they seem to value his versatility.
More clarity at quarterback?
All signs are pointing to Ryan Finley taking reps with the second unit on Thursday, which he earned after putting together a solid game against the Chiefs.
Ryan Finley is again running with the twos. No surprise there. The team is planning for him to be the first QB off the bench on Thursday. #Bengals— Tyler Dragon (@TheTylerDragon) August 13, 2019
Jeff Driskel should still see time at quarterback this week, but he found himself at another familiar position today.
3rd play of 11s, Driskel at WR— Jay Morrison (@JayMorrisonATH) August 13, 2019
Driskel has been used as a wide receiver before in a Bengals’ practice jersey, but the last time that happened he got injured. Thankfully, that was not the case today.
We almost saw Jeff Driskel make a ridiculous TD catch from Andy Dalton.— Ben Baby (@Ben_Baby) August 13, 2019
The Bengals seemed to avoid any injury between Glenn and Brown, but cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick may not have been so lucky.
Dre Kirkpatrick is getting looked at by trainers.— Jay Morrison (@JayMorrisonATH) August 13, 2019
Hopefully it’s a minor thing for Kirkpatrick, as the secondary just got William Jackson back and are still missing Darqueze Dennard. If Kirkpatrick can’t go against Washington, Darius Phillips and Tony McRae figure to be the two who would play in his place.
Speaking of Phillips, special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons has not shied away from giving him more chances at punt returner.
Big difference betweenpractice and games obviously, but the Bengals have kept Darius Phillips in the rotation as punt returner after 2 drops, including a lost fumble at KC, and he hasn’t dropped one in last two practices.— Jay Morrison (@JayMorrisonATH) August 13, 2019
Phillips’ value as a cornerback should keep him on the roster, especially with injuries currently impacting that group, but the second-year player may not get too many more chances returning punts. He needs to seize this opportunity while it still exists to increase his leverage.