Cincinnati Bengals’ Jackson Carman was touted to be the starting left guard earlier this summer, but with two weeks to go until the start of the 2022 season, the tables have dramatically turned.
Challenger Cordell Volson appears to have won the starting job after an impressive preseason showing. Carman, on the other hand, struggled in the preseason opener against the Arizona Cardinals and never regained his footing.
This would mark the second-straight year that Carman, a 2021 second-round pick, was on the fast track to become the team’s starting left guard but lost the job to someone else.
Last year, Carman got beaten out by Quinton Spain; this year, it’s Cordell Volson. Will Carman ever live up to his potential?
By contrast, Zac Taylor praised Volson for his improvement and “consistent” play this preseason.
The Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr. made it abundantly clear that Volson emerged as the team’s starting left guard given last week’s practice reps:
"Cordell Volson won the job. There was no rotation over the past two days. Jackson Carman didn’t rotate through as the overhauled offensive line played together for the first time. Nope. Volson stood between Jonah Williams and Ted Karras for every snap when the first team went out."
Bengals’ Jackson Carman is projected to start Week 1 of the 2022 season on the bench
That fact was reiterated in the Bengals’ final preseason game against the Rams when Carman, not Volson, played the majority of offensive snaps, suggesting that the team was resting Volson for Week 1.
Following an uber-competitive training camp, the only question in the Bengals’ O-line has finally been answered: Volson is the left guard, and Carman will once again serve as a backup.
The rest of Cincy’s offensive linemen are solid locks with Jonah Williams at left tackle, Ted Karras at center, Alex Cappa at right guard, and La’el Collins at right tackle.
There should be no doubt that this year’s offensive line is stronger than the last, and seeing the left guard battle resolved (for now) should be a relief to Bengals fans.
2022 will spell another stint on the bench for Jackson Carman, and while the Bengals haven’t totally given up on him yet, his streak of inconsistency could turn into a serious problem and jeopardize his future in Cincinnati.