With week three of the preseason on the horizon and no definitive starting lineup in place along the offensive line for the Cincinnati Bengals, this week will be a vital one for the position group. Thursday night should provide a strong indication to who will start come September 8th.
Zac Taylor has been shuffling the offensive line since the beginning of training camp. We have seen a different starting five in each of the first two preseason games so far. To add to the complication of figuring out a starting five, the Bengals have lost a few linemen to retirement decimating the depth at arguably the team’s worst position group.
With the unit not necessarily performing well in the first two preseason games, fans are beginning to worry. Week three of the preseason is typically the “dress rehearsal” for the regular season opener for starters, as most play into the second half of the game. Whoever the Bengals decide to roll out to begin the game Thursday night could be a strong indication of who the starting five will be come Week 1 of the regular season.
Who Starts at Center?
Billy Price finds himself in a position battle with Trey Hopkins, although that has never been confirmed to be the case by Taylor. Hopkins has been running with the ones at center all week during practice and is slated to get the start against the New York Giants. This week will provide plenty of opportunities for Price and Hopkins to battle it out for the starting gig at center.
Will Guard Michael Jordan solidify a starting spot?
Michael Jordan was a late round pick. The rookie has taken full advantage of the reps he has earned in practice. So much so, he has worked his way into the starting rotation getting reps with the ones at left guard. Thursday night, the former Ohio State Buckeye will attempt to secure his place among the starters and distance himself from the rest of the pack.
Can the offensive line clean it up?
It was a horrendous start to last week’s game against the Washington Redskins as the unit was flagged early and often. It is important for the offensive line to find a grove and play clean heading into the regular season, and week three of the preseason will be a key for the hog mollies upfront to find some chemistry.