The biggest news came near the end of practice, when stalwart DT Geno Atkins went down with a leg injury. After trainers examined him, they determined it was just a sore left knee, and eventually returned for the final portion of practice. Crisis averted.
CB Adam Jones was back at practice today for first time since camp first began over a week ago. He’ll be expected to compete for the nickle-corner role early in the season while first-rounder Dre Kirkpatrick gets caught up as he recovers from a “reported” broken bone is his knee. Jones will also be vying for a kickoff-return man spot, as well as the primary punt-returner.
Taylor Mays continues to improve, and managed to intercept Andy Dalton as he was covering Jermaine Gresham today. Mays will be the x-factor on this defense that expects to be top-10 or even top-5 caliber. His coverage skills have been his biggest weakness, and by all indicators, he’s improved on that after a full year under the tutelage of defensive guru Mike Zimmer.
Former Gator and current Bengals DE Carlos Dunlap on when asked how hard it was to tackle Jets QB Tebow: “I don’t know. We weren’t allowed to touch him atFlorida”
He was also asked about being the starting DE after coming off the bench in each of his first two NFL seasons:
That’s my goal. Officially I want to be number one and be a starter for the whole season and to be there for the entire year. Unfortunately in our situation one of our guys went down and you have to step up and fill in. That’s what I’m doing.
Brandon Tate also knows he’s in for a long battle, even though he’s penciled in as the initial #2 WR:
All of us are going for a starting job. We’re all competing and take stuff from each other and try to get better.
Rookie RB Dan Herron also returned today from what was believed to be a minor leg injury. The former Buckeye still has plenty of work to do to even earn a spot on the practice squad, let alone the 53-man roster. He missed a lot of offseason workouts with various injuries, and the Bengals won’t hesitate to cut their losses if he can’t show them anything, as they spent only a 6th-round pick on him. If you recall, last season they drafted Baylor RB Jay Finley in the 7th-round, and though he showed some flashes during camp, he was released and wasn’t even signed to the practice squad.
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