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Bengals Training Camp: Thursday recap

The defense takes advantage of another practice where Joe Burrow is stuck in a cart rather than in pads.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals Training Camp The Enquirer-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals started the week by adding pads to the practice equation, and you can tell the intensity and urgency is picking up a notch.

This week, the team also welcomed refs for the first time in training camp. It may not have been a name that fans were too excited to see though.

It may be a bit too early for that kind of reminder of the Super Bowl loss.

Of course, there was plenty of good to takeaway from this practice as well. One of the most eye catching was quarterback Joe Burrow returning to cart duty as he continues to recover from getting his appendix removed. Here are some of the best shots of Burrow taking in the Bengals practice.

If training camp doesn’t end with a Tokyo Drift style race between Burrow and owner Mike Brown in their carts then what is even the point of this season.

While it is fun to see the franchise quarterback out there, it is also important to note he has made some progress since his last appearance.

Progress is one of the evergreen themes for all training camps, and an unfortunate partner to that in some cases is opportunity. Several Bengals continued to miss practice with varying degrees of injury, but one of the most notable was cornerback Eli Apple not participating in team drills following an injury that doesn’t appear to be serious.

This gave several younger players in Cincinnati some opportunities on the outside at cornerback. Including first round pick Daxton Hill, who had another great day.

What was actually surprising was undrafted cornerback Allan George getting the first team reps at Apple’s position over second round pick Cam Taylor-Britt. Both of these players are very young, but it is quite interesting to see the team currently favors George to take those valuable reps with the first team. It is certainly something worth watching over the preseason.

The offense had a bit of good news mixed in with plenty of bad news.

It was good to see Cappa mixed in during team drills as the unit tries to build some chemistry. Cappa was one of the cornerstones brought in to improve this offensive line, so getting him up to speed with the offense is vital.

The bad news. First was the offensive line was still missing its biggest piece (both figuratively and literally) in La’el Collins who sat at recovering from a back injury. What was worse was the offensive line’s struggle with pre-snap penalties.

We also saw Drew Sample go down with an apparent knee injury. A good sign was he did ride in the passenger seat off the field.

It wasn’t all a loss for this offense on Thursday, though. We had a couple nice plays from players we may be hearing more from once the preseason kicks off.

However, it was clear that the defense was the star of the show yet again. With quarterback Brandon Allen out there and an offensive line still finding their footing together, the offense didn’t stand a real chance.

This tweet probably is the best advice the entire offense can take.

The offense lost the day, but they didn’t walk away empty handed.

It is never too early to inject some more competition between the offense and defense at this point in training camp where things could become a bit stale. The offense couldn’t be happy they didn’t have Burrow leading them, but the offense needs to find a way to score with all the weapons they have.

It is fun to try and come up with hot takes right now, but it is very important to still realize how early in the process we are still in. There is plenty of time for this offensive line to get on its feet, Burrow will be back eventually and the defense has been balling out. This team has plenty of time to get back on track.