The first-team WRs were AJ Green and Armon Binns again. Even though Brandon Tate, who started camp as the #1 WR and was healthy today, was relegated to the second-team. Its looking more likely the Bengals may pair the 4th-overall pick of the 2011 NFL draft with an undrafted receiver who continues to defy all the odds.
Taylor Mays was the starting strong safety when the team ran a base defense. Jeromy Miles replaced him when the nickel defense was ran, which only reinforces the belief that Mays will be utilized in run downs or in situations when he’ll be blitzing. CB Nate Clements was also getting reps at safety.
Andrew Hawkins was the #1 slot receiver ahead of Jordan Shipley during a lot of team drills. Gruden commented earlier this week that Shipley wasn’t fully recovered yet from his ACL/MCL tear, but that he could be within two weeks.
Andy Dalton had another great practice and has now had back-to-back quality sessions after the first four sessions were average at best.
The first team defensive line in nickel defense today consisted of Michael Johnson, Devon Still, Geno Atkins, and Carlos Dunlap. Its nice to see the rookie Still getting reps as a pass-rushing DT, something he should be better at than Domata Peko, who’s more of a run-stuffer.
Undrafted free agent LB Emmanuel Lamur has had an impressive showing during training camp. The former Kansas State Wildcat was a player whom Marvin Lewis gave praise to during offseason OTAs. He may have the best shot of all the UFAs to be this year’s feel-good story.
On the Injury Front:
CB Dre Kirkpatrick was doing jumping and light jogging. Its still unclear when he will return from his knee injury, but this was an encouraging sign.
RB Boom Herron wasn’t participating in practice and was seem running on his own on another field. It was unclear if he was rehabbing an injury or doing remedial physical activity. Herron can’t afford to not be on the field right now, as he is firmly on the roster bubble, and a poor showing in the preseason will ensure he doesn’t make it to the opening day roster.
DT Pat Sims was running and doing rehab work on his own too.
CB Adam Jones returns to practice as missing the last few sessions with a calf injury. Jones is expected to compete for the nickle-corner role with Kirkpatrick out, as well as potentially handling kickoff and punt return duties.
Brandon Ghee and Bernard Scott were out with hand injuries that didn’t appear serious.