Bengals Boot Camp: Friday Summary

The third practice padded Cincinnati Bengals Bootcamp is in the books, as is this bootcamp in general. We are now one week away from our first pre-season match against Arizona Cardinalsand Cincinnati pass through the motions.

For Joe Burrow, the only movement involved is the golf cart he’s driving around practice. It’s been more than a week since my burro appendectomy and it’s still listed as day in and day out.

Burrow doesn’t appear to be present for training or has any influence on whether he’s about to return, but there are no reports conflicting with the original two-week recovery schedule for starting quarterbacks. Given that there are only a handful of drills left until the first game before the start of the season, it’s a hypothetical lockout that Burrow wouldn’t be suitable for this match.

Burrow’s absence under the quarterback has led to several positive plays for the Bengals’ defense, but Ja’Marr Chase is doing well. He got Brandon Allen’s best pass in camp, though linebacker Jermaine Pratt would have fired him if the actor was in a real playing position.

Now that the team is in full position doing 11 vs 11, we can start putting together what the depth chart looks like. By this zoom angle, we can gauge that Cam Sample is part of the first team’s nickel defense line package.

Allen has had his Burrow moments occupied, but the Bengals minor usually guarantees a daily spin against the reserve quarterback. Today, it was Von Beel whose hands secured one of Allen’s passes.

The seven defenders have been a consistent winner through eight drills so far, but Cam Taylor-Brett has seen his share of ups and downs. Yesterday, it was college free agent Alan George, not Taylor Brett, who took reps for the 1s in place of the injured Eli Apple. Today, Tre Flowers got its first crack at Apple’s place.

Taylor Brett eventually got a VP against the rookies, and by all accounts it was one of his best days in camp.

Taylor Brett carries excessive weight on his shoulders in order to pick a novice in the second round, at least from the outside looking inward. Bengalis rarely trade in NFL ProjectEspecially during the first three rounds. They did it for Taylor Brett, and since Apple is his main game-time contender, there’s a chance he’ll become a rookie player before too long.

But the 22-year-old full-back still has to lift himself up from Apple, who has the coaches’ confidence and was training well before his injury. Taylor Brett is still a rookie trying to find a foothold, like 99% of the players are in his position.

On the rookie topic, former Wisconsin receiver Kendrick Pryor has faced off against Big 10 competitor, Nebraska and Taylor Brett multiple times during his time with the Badgers, and the unqualified free agent spent an impressive week working with the second team.

Since he’s not a major player in the punt-returner fight, Pryor has flown under the radar for a bit as a receiver looking to make up the opening day roster. But for a team that lacks dynamic athletes outside of the starting three, there is a real opportunity for Prior to take that pre-season momentum and make a strong case for a place in the first 53.

D’Ante Smith was considered a crew lock, but now an injury may get in the way of that. Smith injured his right leg while starting training and was eventually taken to the locker room after trying to put pressure on his injured leg.

We don’t know the extent of Smith’s injury, but it’s serious or not, it’s the latest setback that a sophomore offensive lineman has to deal with. The fourth-round pick of the 2021 draft spent the majority of the junior season fighting against lower-body injuries.