As of 12:00 P.M. EST, we weren’t sure if the Cincinnati Bengals were going to practice on Thursday afternoon. Several NFL clubs had decided to cancel their practices as a form of showing solidarity with other major sports leagues as they protest the shooting of Jacob Blake and the situation in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
The Bengals, after discussing it in the morning, decided to go ahead with their scheduled practice and reconvene tomorrow with a larger discussion planned.
While there isn’t much to take away from Thursday’s session, here’s what we learned.
Burrow’s dimes keep on dropping
7-on-7 work was the most exciting aspect of practice. In it, Joe Burrow continued to display tremendous accuracy to some of his integral targets.
We’ve heard plenty of praise surrounding the tight end position this training camp from head coach Zac Taylor, and starting tight end C.J. Uzomah was the recipient of Burrow’s most notable throw of the day.
Mike Thomas—even after the return of John Ross—continues to get some looks with Burrow at quarterback, and hauled in yet another touchdown this camp.
On the next rep, Burrow hits Mike Thomas on a corner route for another TD. Thomas did a great job of getting the throw near its apex— Ben Baby (@Ben_Baby) August 27, 2020
When 7-on-7 was over, Burrow took some time to work with Ross, A.J. Green, and Tee Higgins, all of whom have missed time this camp working with Burrow on the field.
A.J. Green, John Ross and Tee Higgins are getting some extra work in with Joe Burrow during special teams drills. They’re walking through different plays. Makes sense, considering all three receivers have missed time during camp pic.twitter.com/dafCjkoFh7— James Rapien (@JamesRapien) August 27, 2020
Even when Burrow continues to say the right things off the field, he’s focused on getting better on it. Makes you think what really qualifies as a distraction and what doesn’t.
How can you hear the pain Black people are going through and dismiss it as nothing. How can you hear the pain and respond with anything other than “I stand with you.”— Joey Burrow (@JoeyB) August 27, 2020
Unknown developments up front
The last two practices saw Fred Johnson spending some time with the 1s at right guard. With Hart out, we do not know who was in his place at right tackle, but Johnson’s been taking the lion’s share of reps behind Hart there.
There just seems to be a fluctuating situation going on at right guard and with Hart missing time, it can make an impact with that.
Hart was out along with Carlos Dunlap and Carl Lawson, both of whom have missed practice all week as they’re recovering from minor injuries. Considering it was a light day for the offense and defense, not much was happening from a pass protection and pass-rushing standpoint.
Staying in shape
Special teams was apparently the focal point of Thursday’s practice, giving the kickoff and punt units plenty of work. Towards the end of practice, the team got some conditioning work in as well.
A very old-school session if you will.
The Bengals have two scrimmages planned before their regular season opener against the Los Angeles Chargers on September 13th. Special teams has to be given the necessary ironing out that the offense and defense have been doing for the better part of the last month.
Even with Green, Higgins and Ross back practicing, there’s a number of Bengals trying to get healthy in time for September when it matters. Uneventful days like Thursday are more than okay in the grand scheme of things.