4 things we learned from Bengals preseason finale vs Commanders

  • Unfortunately, injuries occurred
  • QB2 battle looks over
  • Rough night for a rookie
  • D-Line is stacked
Aug 26, 2023; Landover, Maryland, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Trevor Siemian (19) passes the
Aug 26, 2023; Landover, Maryland, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Trevor Siemian (19) passes the / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals wrapped up their preseason campaign with a 21-19 loss to the Washington Commanders. With the final preseason game in the books, the Bengals now have until Tuesday to trim their roster to 53 players.

Let's take a look at a few takeaways from the Bengals' preseason finale.

All stats courtesy of ESPN

Injuries to roster-worthy players

The most important thing during the preseason is to try and avoid injuries as best as possible. The Bengals unfortunately can't say that they did that, as Joseph Ossai was injured in the finale. It was a bit frustrating that Ossai was even still out there playing because we know he's making the team and FedEx field doesn't have the best reputation as far as injuries go.

Ossai left the game in the first half and then was later ruled out with an apparent right ankle injury. This will be something to watch in the next week because this defense would definitely miss Ossai if he had to miss time.

Ossai wasn't the only injury to occur to a player likely to make the roster though. D'Ante Smith left the game right before halftime with what was revealed to be a shoulder injury. Smith isn't a starter but he's had a pretty good preseason and provides depth to this offensive line.

QB2 battle appears to be over

Jake Browning and Trevor Siemian have been duking it out for the right to back up Joe Burrow during the 2023 season. Siemian entered the summer as the favorite to win the QB2 job but Browning hasn't gone away and now it looks as though he's the better option to back up Burrow this year.

Browning put together the best performance of the preseason (at least for the quarterbacks), going 6-of-6 for 42 yards and a touchdown. He fought hard in his final chance to show that he's deserving of making the roster and now, in all likelihood, he should be rewarded for his efforts.

Siemian didn't play poorly. In fact, he had his best game of the preseason but unfortunately for him, Browning did too. Siemian might have officially taken himself out of the running when he threw an interception in the final seconds of the first half.

Yes, Reid Sinnett came into the game in the fourth quarter and played well but he's not winning the QB2 job. I wouldn't be surprised, however, if he was kept on the practice squad while Siemian got waived to potentially find a home elsewhere.

Jordan Battle had a rough night

This isn't going to be a big deal since it's just the preseason but this game wasn't kind to the third-round rookie. Battle was the closest defender on both of Washington's first two touchdowns and that's certainly something that's not going to sit well with Lou Anarumo moving forward.

Fortunately for Battle, he wasn't fighting for a roster spot so hopefully he can use these as learning opportunities and become a better player. It's better for these mistakes to happen in the preseason than during the regular season.

D-Line depth looks terrific

The toughest position to trim down is without a doubt going to be along the defensive line. While guys like Owen Carney and Raymond Johnson played well in the preseason finale, the Bengals simply have too many other talented guys that they'll keep over those players.

This is a good problem to have, of course, and if injuries occur, the team will have the talent and the depth to take over. Hopefully, that means this defense doesn't miss a beat should injuries occur.


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Next up for the Cincinnati Bengals: They'll make their final roster cuts. After that, the next thing to look forward to (other than Joe Burrow's extension) will be the Week 1 season opener against the Cleveland Browns. Football is so close!