Cincinnati Bengals: 3 position battles to watch in training camp

Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Akeem Davis-Gaither (59) celebrates the interception with cornerback Jalen Davis (37) and linebacker Germaine Pratt (57) and linebacker Jordan Evans (50) – Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports /

The Cincinnati Bengals begin training camp on July 27 and it’ll be the first step toward the beginning of the 2021 season. Bengals fans are excited to see this team take the field and see what kind of damage they can do in the ever-so-brutal AFC North.

Ahead of training camp, there are three position battles that fans will be watching closely. Let’s check out these position battles, shall we?

Cincinnati Bengals position battles to watch  – No. 3: Linebacker

The Bengals’ run defense was atrocious last year, allowing the fourth-most rushing yards in the entire league. That falls squarely on the linebackers’ shoulders and despite their shortcomings, the unit doesn’t look much better heading into 2021. Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus doesn’t think much of the Bengals’ linebacking corps at all, ranking them second to last on his linebacker rankings.

The two most veteran names on Cincinnati’s linebacker roster are Jordan Evans and Germaine Pratt with Evans entering his fifth year and Pratt going into his third year as a pro linebacker. Pratt has 24 starts under his belt in two seasons but the level of play hasn’t been sensational by any means. Pratt received a grade of 41.5 by PFF last year, so yeah… Not good.

While Pratt, Logan Wilson, and Akeem Davis-Gaither look to be the starters entering the 2021 season, an impressive camp from Markus Bailey could shake things up a bit. As Stripe Hype’s own Glenn Adams mentioned, Bailey is someone the Bengals are excited about and hope they can get a lot of production out of.

Adams also discussed how guys like Joseph Ossai (rookie third-round pick out of Texas) and Wyatt Hubert (seventh-rounder out of Kansas State) could end up seeing time as linebackers. While Hubert isn’t going to push for a starting spot, Ossai could make things a lot more interesting if he plays well this summer.

Pratt is someone who is certainly in danger of losing his starting gig and all it could take is a nice summer from Bailey, Ossai, or a dark horse who we don’t see coming. This is certainly a position battle to watch.