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Battle for Bengals’ left guard spot appears to be over

Jackson Carman vs. Cordell Volson looks all but finished.

NFL: MAY 13 Cincinnati Bengals Rookie Minicamp Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It may not be official, but the Cincinnati Bengals’ starting offensive line is set.

The team has kept a competition at the left guard spot open throughout the offseason, with Jackson Carman the frontman, and Cordell Volson as the challenger. The latter has been adequate with his opportunities. The former, quite simply, has not.

In the team’s preseason finale against the Los Angeles Rams, Carman was scheduled to play all four quarters of the team’s preseason finale against the Los Angeles Rams. The second-year player missed last week’s exhibition vs. the New York Giants due to COVID-19, so these reps were very valuable for him.

It also means that Volson had already done enough to earn the coaches’ trust as the starter.

Carman has indeed been on the field for the entire game, and it’s not been a great performance. Among a sack allowed and a holding penalty, he’s simply not looked good enough to turn the tides of a battle that is probably already over.

The players who are on the field the most during the last preseason game aren’t battling for starting spots. For the most part, they’re fighting just to stay on the roster.

Being released altogether may not be in the cards for Carman, a second-round pick from last year’s NFL Draft, but playing this entire game while Volson watches from the sideline wasn’t a great sign for chances at winning the left guard job.

His outing only confirms what we, and the coaches, likely already knew.