The Cincinnati Bengals really looked to bolster their current and future prospects in their secondary by taking Daxton Hill in the first round and then followed it up with cornerback Cam Taylor-Britt in the second.
Taylor-Britt was expected to possibly push veteran Eli Apple for the second boundary corner spot, but a core injury that required surgery to fix cost him most of training camp and landed him on injured reserve.
Injured reserve isn’t the worst place to end up anymore. What once used to be a permanent ending of a season for players has become more of a way for teams to keep more bodies on the roster. The rookie can return to the field following Week 4. It sounds like head coach Zac Taylor expects the corner to hit the ground running when that happens.
“I’ll tell you this about Cam, his approach has been really good since this happened,” Taylor told Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com. “He’s here early in the morning, getting his stuff done. He meets extra. He’s doing everything we asked him to do. So I’m optimistic that when his time does come that he’s able to come off the list, and he’ll be ready and doing everything that he possibly could have done to put himself in a position to go compete and get some playing time.”
It is often only the people in the building who know which players are putting in that extra work in order to get ahead. Turns out that Taylor has noticed all the work Taylor-Britt has been putting in. That will make it interesting to see how slowly they bring him along once he is able to return.
There is no doubt that at some point Taylor-Britt will be pushing Apple for snaps on the outside, but that isn’t to say Cincinnati is in a rush for that to happen. Apple was very serviceable, and he even made a few crucial plays that helped the Bengals during their improbable playoff run.
However, Apple is on a one-year deal, so the more game experience the rookie gets, the better it is for the future of this secondary.