It’s time for the return of preseason football.
The Cincinnati Bengals and the rest of the NFL got a break from the preseason last year, and now 30 teams will play just three exhibitions this month leading up to the league’s 102nd regular season.
To kick things off, the Bengals will play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Raymond James Stadium, the site of Super Bowl LV back in February. In case you forgot, the Buccaneers won that game, and Tom Brady added a seventh ring to his GOAT status.
Tampa Bay decided to bring all of their starters back for the 2021 season, so the Bengals can be thankful they won’t be playing against those players for too long in this game. Unfortunately, they still won’t have Joe Burrow under center, as the team decided to hold their star quarterback out for at least this week. It’s unclear whether or not Burrow will play at all this month.
Aside from Burrow, most of Cincinnati’s starting lineup will play at least a drive or two. This includes rookie Ja’Marr Chase as he makes his professional debut. Chase has had an up and down training camp, so this is an opportunity to silence the doubters in his first game playing alongside Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins, who has looked like a completely different receiver this Summer.
Higgins and Co. have been practicing against the Bengals’ revamped defense, and that group has dominated the offense for most of camp thus far. We’ll see how improved they look against one of the best offenses in the league last year.
For all the latest news, updates, and analysis of Bengals vs. Buccaneers, check back to this stream. Welcome back to football!