The third training camp in the Zac Taylor era has begun, and there is no shortage of storylines.
While he might not be playing in the preseason, the spotlight remains on quarterback Joe Burrow and the end of his long recovery from reconstructive knee surgery. Bengals fans have been waiting for this ever since No. 9 was carted off the field last November. Needless to say, the hype surrounding Burrow’s return and second season is through the roof.
Fueling the optimism is the new-age trio of receivers at Burrow’s disposal. Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins return to the starting lineup, but Ja’Marr Chase will look to establish himself as the offense’s primary wideout. The rookie and former collegiate running mate of Burrow has A.J. Green-size shoes to fill, and he’s looked every bit of the part thus far.
Burrow is just one starter who worked back from injury this offseason. Joe Mixon, C.J. Uzomah, Trey Hopkins, D.J. Reader, and Trae Waynes are all healthy and ready to pick up where they left off. Waynes’ anticipated debut against his former team—the Minnesota Vikings—in Week 1 is going to be heavily discussed as camp and the preseason progress.
Speaking of Waynes and Reader, both players are expected to be catalysts for much-needed improvement on defense. The front office went big in free agency again on that side of the ball, so watching new acquisitions Trey Hendrickson, Chidobe Awuzie, Mike Hilton, and Larry Ogunjobi fit into their roles will be intriguing.
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