Bengals: Jackson Carman could make first NFL start in Week 3

Jackson Carman (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)
Jackson Carman (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) /

The Cincinnati Bengals‘ offensive line could see its first change this Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers, as right guard Xavier Su’a-Filo did not practice on Friday. If this remains the case, he has one more shot on Sunday to prove he’s able to play and if he can’t go, fans will get to see second-round rookie Jackson Carman make his NFL debut.

The offensive line as a whole has not played well to this point, surrendering nine sacks on Joe Burrow, which isn’t ideal. Burrow was injured last year due to getting hit over and over again and this season feels like deja vu in that department.

Rather than addressing the o-line in round one of the draft though, the Bengals opted to select Ja’Marr Chase fifth overall. With their next pick, which came in the second round, Cincy drafted Carman out of Clemson.

The pick was strange on its own but then Cincinnati made it known they were planning on kicking Carman inside to guard. He struggled through a large portion of training camp but did look settled in near the end of the offseason, performing well in the final two preseason games.

Jackson Carman could make his NFL debut on Sunday.

This is not the best game for a rookie offensive lineman to be making his first start. The Steelers have a vicious defensive front and currently have 75 consecutive games with a sack (prepare for it to be 76 after this one), so it’s not going to be an easy day at the office for Carman if this is the time for him to make his debut.

Something has to change on this o-line though, so maybe Carman is the missing piece. The unit has not played well and has been pushed around by both the Vikings and Bears’ defensive fronts, which doesn’t make fans feel better about what could happen this weekend.

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If Carman gets the call, here’s to hoping he can hold his own in what will be one of the toughest defenses he’ll have to face.