Prior to the first practice, Paul Dehner Jr. write an intriguing article about the five Bengals who have the most to lose in training camp, and two of them are players who could go from being a starter, to getting the dreaded pink slip when final roster cuts come:
2. C Kyle Cook: Hard to believe one of the centerpieces of this franchise and most respected players in the locker room would be considered for a list like this, but the emergence of Trevor Robinson last year thrust Cook into a position battle. Don’t expect a rotation at center like what happened at the end of last season, one of the two will surface as the starter. A player of Cook’s caliber and cap number on the bench would create a dilemma for the coaching staff.
1. S Taylor Mays: The club enters Year 3 of hoping Mays’ instincts catch up with his elite physical skills at the safety position. With a heated competition between Mays, Shawn Williams, George Iloka and Jeromy Miles for the spot opposite Reggie Nelson, the difference between a great camp and subpar one could be the difference between starter and off the roster.
Speaking of Mays, safety Shawn Williams got snaps with the first-team defense on Friday after mays got the first-team reps on Thursday. The third-round pick out of Georgia is battling Mays for the starting spot at strong safety, and if Mays loses this battle by a significant margin, he may very well lose his roster spot.
As for the injury bug, A.J. Green suffered what initially looked like a serious knee injury during the first practice session, but it turned out to be just a simple bone bruise that will keep him out through the weekend, but probably won’t cause him to miss any preseason games.
As for Andre Smith, who signed a three-year, $18 million contract and then failed to show up for any of the off-season team activity practices, he’s expected to make his debut Sunday as he recovers from a calf injury.
The next two days of camp are as follows:
Saturday — 3-5 p.m.
Sunday — 3-5 p.m.