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Zac Taylor gives another encouraging update on Joseph Ossai

Joseph Ossai would be a big boost against Lamar Jackson.

NFL: Preseason-Cincinnati Bengals at Atlanta Falcons John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals defense played well, despite the final score of 24-3, losing to the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. The offense went three-and-out in seven consecutive drives in Week 1, which allowed the Browns offense to eventually just wear the Bengals defense down.

There were positives. The secondary looked good despite their inexperience at safety. Their newly extended linebackers, Germaine Pratt and Logan Wilson, both looked good. And there was a pass rush! The Bengals got to Deshaun Watson three times, but they hit him another three times and rushed him 14 times, per PFF.

Do you know what helps a pass rush get even more effective, though? Having another pass rusher.

That’s what could happen as soon as Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Ravens and MVP quarterback Lamar Jackson.

Third-year defense end Joseph Ossai, who suffered a sprained ankle in the team’s third preseason game, has made progress and is “day-to-day,” per head coach Zac Taylor.

“He really is day to day right now,” said Taylor of Ossai during his Monday presser. “We’ll see where he’s at. I don’t want to make any guesses on where he’ll be on Wednesday, but he had a really good week last week.”

We could have seen this coming. On the Bengals' last practice of the week before their game against the Browns, Ossai seemed to be in uniform like he was going to participate. That didn’t happen, and he was eventually ruled out.

Ossai was the pick for a lot of analysts for being one of the Bengals players who could be in store for a breakout season. Even if he doesn’t have an amazing season with 20 sacks, just having another capable pass rusher on the field in obvious passing downs not only makes the defense better on that particular play, but it helps keep other guys fresh.

Sam Hubbard, one of the team’s starting defensive ends, spoke to Jay Morrison and talked about having Ossai back and how, along with more snaps from Myles Murphy, it will help keep guys healthy and fresh late into the season.

The Bengals hopefully get Ossai back, if not this weekend, at least by Week 3. Taylor said there’s a chance the whole team will be healthy by Sunday.

“We’ll continue to assess, but I think there’s a good chance that most of our team’s ready to go, if not maybe practice on Wednesday,” he said.

We can only hope after what transpired on Sunday.

Stay tuned as the practice reports come out throughout the week.