3 most important storylines after Week 1 of Bengals training camp

  • Joe Burrow's injury
  • Browning's performance
  • Young CBs standing out
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) grabs his calf after an injury on a scramble play
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) grabs his calf after an injury on a scramble play / Kareem Elgazzar/The Cincinnati Enquirer

The Cincinnati Bengals have one full week of training camp in the books. With the preseason set to begin on Thursday night (though the Bengals don't kick off their preseason slate until Friday, Aug. 11), let's take a look at the most important storylines for the Stripes so far.

Joe Burrow's injury

This one had to be included. The Cincinnati Bengals' Super Bowl hopes ride and die with Joe Burrow. That's why seeing him get carted off the field after he went to the ground on a non-contact injury was concerning.

Fortunately, it appears that the Bengals dodged a massive bullet, as Burrow will reportedly only be out for "several weeks" while recovering from a calf strain. This could mean that he's back in time for Week 1 but we don't have all of the information yet.

Regardless, this was supposed to be Burrow's first normal training camp. In year one, COVID protocols meant things were different. In year two, he was recovering from his ACL injury. In year three, he was dealing with an appendicitis. Now, in year four, he suffered from a calf strain on just the second day of practice.

Burrow is the most important player on the Bengals roster so the injury is obviously a talking point and a big one, at that.

Jake Browning making strong impression

With Burrow sidelined for the rest of the offseason, Trevor Siemian and Jake Browning are going to take turns splitting the reps with the starters. Siemian was signed in free agency to serve as an experienced veteran backup while Browning returned for year three with the team.

Browning has been the star of the show between the two quarterbacks so far, throwing dimes right and left and showcasing why rolling with him as the backup wouldn't be a bad idea. Jay Morrison of Pro Football Network even has Browning winning the QB2 job over Siemian.

I'm still thinking that the Bengals go with Siemian as the backup but it's hard to ignore what Browning is doing so far. If he plays well in the preseason, a strong case could be made for him to be Burrow's secondhand man in 2023.

Young secondary looks good

The Bengals have made it a point to add young talent to their secondary, spending a first and second-round pick on a safety and cornerback respectively last year and then spending a second and third-rounder on a cornerback and safety again this year.

The pair of second-round picks -- Cam Taylor-Britt in last year's draft and D.J. Turner in this year's draft -- have been turning heads in training camp so far. Taylor-Britt doesn't have an easy task, as he has to go toe-to-toe with Ja'Marr Chase but so far, the Nebraska product has made it not look impossible.

Turner won't necessarily be starting in 2023 due to the Bengals already having Taylor-Britt, Chidobe Awuzie, and Mike Hilton in the starting spots but he's already showing what his worth will be as a depth piece. He might make it a little easier for the team to move on from Awuzie following the 2023 season.

We only have one week of practices so it's hard to gauge what some of these players can provide but the young corners appear to be ready to rock and roll.

Joe Burrow's injury is obviously the biggest talking point but who would have thought that Jake Browning would end up garnering as much respect as he has? He could end up being QB2 this year if he continues on this trajectory.


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Week 2 of training camp should continue to give us more storylines to dive into.