Almost exactly nine months ago, a run-fo-the-mill regular season matchup between the Cincinnati Bengals and Washington Football Team took place in Landover, Maryland. Just over two full quarters of normalcy had passed when the entire football world was suddenly fixated on the three-yard line near the northwest end zone of Fedex Field.
Bengals rookie quarterback Joe Burrow was down on his back, slowly realizing that his present and immediate future was changing before his very eyes. His left ACL and MCL had been torn in an instant, his rookie season was very much over, and the entire Bengals organization had to take a long look at themselves in the mirror.
Much has changed since that disastrous November afternoon, but some concerns still linger. Cincinnati remains unsure who will start at right guard and they haven’t exactly crowned a winner at left guard either. The shuffling at both guard spots isn’t the public reason as to why Burrow isn’t playing in this game, but it could be part of the equation.
The players who will be suiting up won’t be stepping onto the same grass that Burrow collapsed onto. Washington installed brand new grass this year and finally put to rest the dastardly dirt that previously occupied the center of the stadium. So hopefully each team will come out of this game healthy because of it.
Burrow or no Burrow, there’s still plenty to learn about this new-look Bengals team. They managed to squeak out a win last week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers thanks to a few turnovers and late-blooming run game. The starters will play a few more drives this week, but not enough to make this a traditional “dress rehearsal” exhibition. Will the defense build off last week’s performance? How will Brandon Allen and the offense fare against one of the best defensive lines in the game?
It’s Bengals preseason football! This story stream is your one-stop shop for everything Cincinnati vs. Washington.