5 matchups to watch during Bengals preseason opener vs. Cardinals
Jackson Carman vs Leki Fotu
The Bengals will have offensive line worries of their own. Jackson Carman has failed to grasp his opportunity as starting left guard, and question marks remain. Offensive line coach Frank Pollack has been bullish about Carman’s improvement, but fan skepticism is warranted.
One positive for Carman is that he doesn’t have to face veteran J.J. Watt in Friday’s encounter. Instead, it will be a combination of Rashard Lawrence and Leki Fotu. The two will likely battle for the starting nose tackle gig come the regular season, but Fotu is tasked with creating pressure outside the center against the Bengals.
Fotu didn’t log a sack last year and had two tackles for loss. It’s unlikely that Carman should have many worries on true pass sets. It will be interesting to see if Carman can handle the size and power of the 6’5″ and 335-pound Fotu.
Carman should get plenty of snaps on Friday, so the coaching staff gets a real feel for his progress. There is still competition in the form of Cordell Volson and Lamont Gaillard, meaning the left guard spot will be a significant focus for fans against the Cardinals.