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Trey Hopkins may be sneaking into the lead at LG

The do-it-all backup could end up winning a starting spot.

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Cincinnati Bengals Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

One of the hottest position battles in Bengals training camp as been at left guard.

The belief was this battle was come down to the young upstart in Christian Westerman taking on the battle-tested vet in John Jerry. Those two have been alternating snaps with the first and second-team offenses throughout training camp, but another contender may be sneaking into the lead.

According to ESPN reporter Tyler Dragon, Trey Hopkins was getting first-team reps during Saturday’s team scrimmage at Family Dey, a good sign he’s in position to win the job at left guard.

Coming into camp, the belief was the Bengals would keep Hopkins as a backup for both guard spots and at center. He’s even versatile enough to play at offensive tackle, where the team has very little depth behind the incumbent Cordy Glenn and Bobby Hart.

But while Hopkins may be a valuable backup, he also has a case as one of the best five offensive linemen on the roster, so it’s only fair that he get a chance to start somewhere. And it’s not like he can’t still be a backup center or tackle. If someone else gets hurt, Hopkins can just take their spot and move Westerman or Jerry into the lineup.

In this case, it could be at left guard, and frankly, it makes too much sense. Westerman just doesn’t seem to have the trust of whatever offensive line coach he’s working with (he’s now on his third in three years), while Jerry has little to nothing left in the tank after turning 33 in June and being out of football in 2018.