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Zac Taylor will start D’Ante Smith if Jackson Carman can’t play vs. Lions

It would be the first start for the fourth-round pick.

Syndication: The Enquirer Sam Greene via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Over the last several years, the Cincinnati Bengals offensive line has been the team’s biggest question mark. They were tied for the fifth-most sacks allowed last season. As any team would, they addressed it multiple times in the draft.

The team ended up passing on the “best” lineman, Oregon’s Penei Sewell, correctly drafting Ja’Marr Chase instead. They went with Clemson’s Jackson Carman in the second round, then also took D’Ante Smith in the fourth round.

So far this season, the unit as a whole has been much better.

That said, neither rookie started out of the gate, but Carman was quickly inserted into the lineup as Xavier Su’a-Filo was injured. Carman is now on the Covid-19 list and could be there Sunday as well.

If he’s still there come Sunday, per Bengals.com’s Geoff Hobson, it will be Smith who gets the call.

The 6-foot-5 Smith, who did a couple of years collegiately at East Carolina, played some in the preseason but hasn’t made an appearance yet in the team’s five regular-season games.

Slotted in at right guard if he does play, the team could end up making some changes there as they have Quinton Spain, who has experience at right guard. Smith, per The Enquirer’s Charlie Goldsmith, has only been spotted at left guard, so sliding Spain over would allow the rookie to play a more natural position.

The Bengals will be taking on a Lions defense that is getting at the quarterback, as they are averaging 2.2 sacks per game.