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Bengals news and notes from Wednesday’s practice

Cornerback Chidobe Awuzie put together another great practice.

NFL: AUG 06 Cincinnati Bengals Training Camp Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

This week, for the first and only time this year, the Cincinnati Bengals will play on a Friday. Usually their Fridays will involve shortened practices with no contact, which is why Wednesday’s practice resembled just that.

After the offense lit the practice field up on Monday and Tuesday, the Bengals put in the final preparations for their preseason matchup against the Washington Football Team (Friday, 8:00 P.M. EST). The defense seemed to respond well Wednesday, specifically cornerback Chidobe Awuzie.

Awuzie’s coverage thus far in camp has been nothing short of persistently sticky. The free agent acquisition from Dallas has wasted no time fitting in to the Bengals’ new-look secondary. Wednesday just happens to be the latest afternoon he showcased his prowess.

Awuzie has notably gone up against rookie wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase oftentimes in practice. Chase’s struggles during the beginning of camp were likely amplified due to Awuzie’s impressive coverage ability. To hear Chase improving despite Awuzie’s play not experiencing a drop off is nothing but great news.

What’s not great news is D’Ante Smith missing Wednesday’s practice. The rookie guard never appeared Wednesday, leaving Quinton Spain with all the starting reps at left guard. Xavier Su’a-Filo took the reps at right guard for the second day in a row.

We didn’t learn until after practice what was up with Smith. Per head coach Zac Taylor, Smith was dealing with dehydration from the previous night and was held out of practice because of it.

Taylor didn’t rule Smith out for Friday’s game, but our best guess would be he doesn’t play very much or at all after missing Wednesday. They’ll likely play it safe and keep him out of the game.

As far as the players Taylor did rule out, there were no big surprises. Eli Apple and Ricardo Allen will not play for the second-straight week despite both players returning to practice earlier this week. Neither player should be worried about their roster spots, so this is likely the same situation Larry Ogunjobi dealt with last week. Ogunjobi didn’t play last Saturday despite returning to practice earlier in the week.

Khalid Kareem, Trayveon Williams, Trey Hopkins, Joe Burrow, and Joseph Ossai will also not suit up. When asked about Ossai’s injury, Taylor said they’re still waiting for more information.

Burrow and Hopkins are still being held out for precautionary purposes. Both players are medically cleared to participate, but Taylor doesn’t want to put them out there before they’re needed.

When asked after practice if he’s been lobbying to play, Burrow responded with a “yes” followed by a laugh. The Bengals’ quarterback told reporters he finally feels like he’s “back to my old self.”

With just over three weeks remaining until Week 1, that’s all the news Taylor and Bengals fans can hope for.