The Cincinnati Bengals will enter the 2023 training camp in an optimistic mood. So far, all the main stars are injury free, and despite contract extension talks looming, the team morale seems as good as ever. This is a squad focused on a championship charge and it has the ability to bring back the first-ever Super Bowl victory for Cincy.
With that in mind, it's clear how competitive and deep this roster has become. De facto GM Duke Tobin continues to restock the team with talented rookies putting pressure on those higher up the depth chart. Let's take a look at four guys who will need to excel in the preseason or face an anxious look over their shoulders.
4. Jonah Williams
Jonah Williams is back in the building. Despite his initial disgruntlement at not being made aware of the move to replace him at left tackle with Orlando Brown Jr, Williams appears committed to being a part of this year's starting offensive line.
He fully recovered from a knee injury he fought through last year, but Williams has plenty to prove as a right tackle. Although most of his college and NFL snaps have been on the blindside, his lack of length means a move to the right has regularly been mooted.
The Bengals coaching staff will be happy that Williams is on board with the shift, but that's not to say his position isn't under threat. According to PFF, Williams allowed 12 sacks in 2022, and his expiring contract means the Bengals won't remain committed without visible improvements.
La'el Collins remains on the team and working hard to get back from a major knee injury. While he may not be available immediately, if he makes the 53-man roster he will hope to challenge Williams for the job.
Not only that, but Jackson Carman showed signs of improvement in 2022, and if he can show further development, will offer a more long-term option for the position. All in all, Williams is under plenty of pressure to prove himself in a contract year.