Are the Bengals starters playing tonight?

Bengals and Commanders kick off at 6:05 EST
Green Bay Packers v Cincinnati Bengals
Green Bay Packers v Cincinnati Bengals / Michael Hickey/GettyImages

The Cincinnati Bengals take the field for one final preseason game on Saturday night. This preseason matchup will pit the Bengals against the Washington Commanders.

Before the preseason shrunk from four games to three games, it was customary for the starters to play maybe a series in the first game, maybe a quarter in the second game, maybe a half in the third game, and then not at all in the fourth game.

With one less game, teams vary on how they handle their starters in the preseason now. Some teams, like the Bengals, opt not to play their starters much at all to avoid injuries. Others, such as the Kansas City Chiefs, play them for longer to get them more reps before the season begins.

While avoiding injuries is never a bad thing, not putting the starters out there can lead to a shaky beginning to the season, as Bengals fans saw last year.

Will the Bengals starters play in the preseason finale?

When Zac Taylor spoke to the media on Thursday following the Bengals' final day of training camp, he confirmed that we would not see any of the starters against the Commanders.

This isn't a surprise since this is the method that Taylor adopted since he's been in Cincinnati. It prevents any of the stars from getting injured but don't be surprised if we see some rust from the offense since none of them have played a single snap this summer.


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The defensive starters played one series against the Atlanta Falcons last week. They allowed a near-10 minute drive but it ended in a Joseph Ossai interception.