Like the first two preseason games, most of the starters won’t play this week, though some would be out regardless due to injury.
On Wednesday, head coach Zac Taylor updated the status of several injured Bengals, which Eli Apple is now part of.
Set to be a starting boundary cornerback across from Chidobe Awuzie, Apple will miss some time after having fluid drained from his quad. Taylor said Apple is expected to be sidelined the rest of the week, though it doesn’t sound like the veteran DB is in danger of missing Week 1.
This is still a concerning development with Cam Taylor-Britt also sidelined after undergoing core muscle surgery. Those two were competing for that second boundary corner spot, so having both out means guys like Tre Flowers, Allan George and Delonte Hood will get more reps this week. We may see first-round pick Dax Hill get more reps at corner.
Elsewhere, backup tackle Isaiah Prince is still sidelined as he recovers from a bicep injury and won’t practice this week, per Taylor. The good news is Taylor said projected starting tackle La’el Collins will take part in 11-on-11 work today.
Collins is slowly progressing after suffering a back injury in an offseason workout that’s limited him throughout the preseason. Seeing him finally back to 11-on-11 work suggests he’s still on track to start Week 1 vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Another potential starter returning to practice this week is Jackson Carman, who has cleared COVID-19 protocols and will go today. Carman is battling rookie fourth-round pick Cordell Volson for the left guard spot.
Speaking of, Taylor said the left guard battle is not over and there’s still plenty of time left for Carman to win the job. However, Taylor also praised Volson for his performance thus far in the preseason.
“He did some good things. He’s a young ascending player who made improvements we need to see,” Taylor said of Volson. “These next two days will be a great experience for him.”
Look for Carman and Volson to get the bulk of the snaps at left guard Saturday against the Rams.