Bengals: Three things to watch out for in Sunday’s scrimmage

Cincinnati Bengals, A.J. Green (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Cincinnati Bengals, A.J. Green (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

As the Cincinnati Bengals gear up to scrimmage inside Paul Brown Stadium on Sunday, here are three things to watch out for.

The Cincinnati Bengals are slated to use Sunday’s anticipated scrimmage as their “third preseason game“, according to head coach Zac Taylor.

Historically, the third contest of the preseason has been dubbed the most important in the NFL, as it’s used as a dress rehearsal for the starters. Assuming the coaching staff is going into the practice with that mindset, it will provide many important details to the orange and black faithful.

Do A.J. Green and Joe Mixon participate?

After missing all of last season, fans were eagerly waiting to see A.J. Green get back on the field and begin building chemistry with Joe Burrow. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case, as the club has opted to play things safe with their star wideout.

Officially, it has been a hamstring injury that has kept him sidelined but the team could also just be saving him for the regular season. Either way, it will be interesting to see how involved he is in the event and how he connects with Burrow against a live defense.

Joe Mixon is another star to keep an eye on. He’s missed the past several practices due to migraine issues but there has been some questioning if his absence could be tied to on-going contract negotiations. If he suits up, it will certainly ease tensions in the Queen City.

Which young linebackers get the most snaps?

Surprisingly, Cincinnati’s revamped linebacker room has gotten very little attention during training camp. After years of abysmal play at the position, this is the first season where those within the group have the talent necessary to take a huge leap forward.

At the top of the depth chart sits Josh Bynes and Germaine Pratt. After that duo, however, things are up in the air. Presumptively, Logan Wilson would be the next in line for playing time but Akeem Davis-Gaither, Markus Bailey, and Austin Calitro could surprise some people as well.

No matter who gets the most snaps, how the unit performs will go a long way in determining if the defense can bounce back from a bad showing a year ago.

Who are Joe Burrow’s favorite targets?

There’s no denying that the Bengals have quite the array of weapons heading into the season. A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd, Auden Tate, John Ross, Joe Mixon, Tee Higgins, and many others offer rookie quarterback Joe Burrow a variety of skillsets to utilize as he begins his foray into the league.

So far, Boyd and Tate (especially in the red zone) have really stood out. Sunday’s scrimmage will go a long way in determining if that’s still the case or if Burrow has built strong connections with the rest of the group.

The rookie signal-caller has plenty of experience spreading the wealth, as he had a vast amount of talent flanking him at LSU. However, as with any quarterback in the league, one or two targets usually end up being the go-to options. One of the most exciting storylines for the Bengals revolves around who those top players will be.

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