Bengals 2022 Training Camp: Top 5 takeaways from Sunday

Cincinnati Bengals, Bengals training camp (Mandatory Credit: Kareem Elgazzar-USA TODAY Sports)
Cincinnati Bengals, Bengals training camp (Mandatory Credit: Kareem Elgazzar-USA TODAY Sports) /

After an off-day Saturday, the boys were back at it Sunday. With less than a week before the preseason opener, let’s see what takeaways we have from Sunday practice.

The Bengals wrapped up their first full week of practice Sunday at the practice facility under the interstate, (can’t wait for a new one), and while some stars were still sidelined, there were some familiar faces back on the field, and on the sideline.

Everyone’s favorite “85”, with apologies to Tee Higgins, was on the sideline spectating. Chad Johnson delighted fans by showing up for the sweltering Sunday afternoon practice. Can we get Chad a position coaching the receivers, please?

Also making an appearance was Mike Zimmer. Zim owns property in Northern Kentucky and is still quite connected to the team as his son Adam Zimmer is now an “offensive analyst”. The Bengals can use all the good football minds it can find and having Adam Zimmer back is huge.

All the feel-good stuff aside, let’s dig into some takeaways from Sunday’s practice. Here are five key takeaways from another hot August practice in Cincinnati.

Our dream line is closer to becoming a reality for the Bengals

It’s huge to have La’el Collins back out on the field, even if he isn’t in pads. Collins was back on the field doing pass-blocking drills, and even though it was fairly light work, having him get activity early in camp is big.

Alex Kappa is getting healthy, La’el Collins is getting healthy, and rookie Cordell Volson continues to impress, pushing what looks like a much-improved Jackson Carman. Bengals fans might see the best line since the mid-2000’s in 2022.

All the feels at Bengals practice today

Yep, anyone that has been a Bengal fan the last couple of decades, if they were at practice today, had to have gotten chills despite the humidity. Some of the best, brightest, and most nostalgic ex-Bengals were in attendance today, including a special guest that likely had more than one fan misty-eyed.

Chad Johnson showed up and hung out with the fans and receivers, Mike Zimmer spent some time on the sideline with his son Adam, an offensive analyst for the team, Adam Jones was spotted on the sideline, and he brought a special guest.

It’s well known that Jones adopted the late Chris Henry’s son, Chris Henry Jr. Junior and Jones were at practice today, and Junior looks every bit the spitting image of his father. Henry already has a scholarship offer from Ohio State, and he looks to be a physical specimen like his dad. Very touching stuff.

The Bengals defensive backfield is going to be fire, even without Jessie Bates

The defensive backfield continues to impress. Chido Awuzie is having a fantastic camp, Dax Hill is impressing, Eli Apple is back on the field, and the team might have found an unpolished gem in Allen George. Don’t misunderstand, it would be preferable to have Jessie Bates happy and in camp, but if he isn’t, the secondary still looks solid if not a bit raw.

It’s a battle royale on the Bengals for tight end

Ok, so we know Hayden Hurst is the clear pass-catching tight end. He has the draft pedigree and has been drawing rave reviews thus far with his fluidity and hands. What we don’t know is who will be his primary backups. Like we learned last year when Uzomah got hurt, you need a backup pass catcher, not just another in-line blocker.

The injury to Drew Sample has opened the door for Thad Moss and Mitch Wilcox to lay their claim to the backup tight end job, at least in the short term. Sample was in a heavy brace today, so it will be a bit before he is back. it will be interesting to see if Moss can finally stay healthy and deliver on some of that potential.

Joe Burrow is itching to go for the Bengals

Of course, we all expect that, don’t we? After all, it’s Joe’s team. However today he did more than just sit in a golf cart and spectate. Of course, he didn’t suit up, but he made his presence felt from the sideline, interacting with the offense and doing some coaching on his own.

It’s clear this is Burrow’s team, and he is taking a vested interest in what’s going on even when he can’t get out and suit up. That, kids, is a very good thing.

Practice rolls on, the team looks good, and hopefully, injuries can stay to a minimum. Let’s get ready for the first preseason game this Friday night at PBS against the Arizona Cardinals!