Upgrading the offensive line was the Cincinnati Bengals’ biggest priority this offseason. They did just that by signing Alex Cappa, Ted Karras and La’el Collins.
Unfortunately for Collins, who’s set to be the starting right tackle, he’s been limited throughout training camp due to a back injury sustained in an offseason workout. He was initially placed on the non-football injury list and was activated from it on August 10th.
Since then, the Bengals have slowly brought Collins along, though he hasn’t played in a preseason game yet and won’t this week vs. the New York Giants.
Thankfully, Collins has progressed enough that he was able to do 11-on-11 work during today’s non-padded practice. He’s also expected to be a full participant during next week’s joint practices with the Los Angeles Rams.
Barring a setback, Collins is on track to start in the regular-season opener vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Adding to the good news was Collins dishing out some very high praise for rookie offensive guard Cordell Volson. The Bengals’ 2022 fourth-round NFL Draft pick has been competing with Jackson Carman for the starting left guard spot. With Carman now sidelined due to COVID-19, Volson has a chance to make a strong push toward winning the job.
And he’s apparently caught Collins’ eye.
Bengals RT La’el Collins, who said today was a big step in his ramp up process, called rookie LG Cordell Volson “one of the best rookies I’ve been around.”— Charlie Goldsmith (@CharlieG__) August 19, 2022
He praised Volson’s toughness, physicality, coachability and willingness to learn.
Collins, as you may know, has been in the NFL since 2015 after previously playing for the Dallas Cowboys, so he’s been around quite a lot of rookies since then. Calling Volson “one of the best rookies I’ve been around” is eye-opening, and it certainly adds to the hope he can become a quality starting lineman in this league.
Of course, Volson has to show it on the field, and he’ll have a great chance to do Sunday vs. the Giants.