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Joe Mixon, Geno Atkins among Bengals who won’t play vs. Chiefs

The Bengals are keeping several key players on ice for Week 1 of the preseason.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

On Saturday, the Bengals will have their first preseason game of the Zac Taylor era when they take on the Chiefs. However, they’ll do so without several of their heavy-hitters.

On Thursday, Taylor announced that the following players will not play Saturday:

  • DE Carl Lawson
  • DT Geno Atkins
  • RB Giovani Bernard
  • RB Joe Mixon
  • TE Tyler Eifert
  • RB Rodney Anderson
  • WR John Ross

Taylor added that Bernard and Mixon are healthy enough to play, even though they were held out of practice earlier this week.

The Bengals are playing it smart by holding out Eifert and Lawson after their season-ending injuries in 2018. They have been healthy and participating in training camp, but there’s still no reason to risk either of them in the first preseason game.

Anderson just came off the NFI list, so he’s not even gotten a full week of practice in, which is why he’s being held out.

Atkins is getting what amounts to a veteran’s rest day, as there’s no reason for the 31-year-old Pro Bowler to play this week.

The real disappointment is Ross, who is still dealing with a mysterious hamstring issue. The team initially said it was just tightness and Ross was day to day, but seeing as how he’s missed the last two weeks suggests it’s more serious. For what it’s worth, Taylor reiterated today that Ross is still day to day.