The Cincinnati Bengals began their 2023 training camp last Wednesday and there have been plenty of storylines along the way. The biggest was obviously the injury to Joe Burrow and once again, the former LSU gunslinger will find himself on the sidelines during the preseason activities.
With nearly a week of training camp in the books, let's take a look at what the final 53-man roster might look like.
Bengals 53-man roster after Week 1 of training camp
QB (2): Joe Burrow, Trevor Siemian
Burrow's injury forced the team to sign another quarterback but Reid Sinnett has little to no chance of making the 53-man roster. Siemian was brought in to serve as a solid veteran presence should Burrow miss time and Jake Browning has impressed the front office during his time in Cincinnati. Browning will land on the practice squad assuming Burrow is not back in time.
RB (3): Joe Mixon, Chase Brown, Trayveon Williams
The notable cut here is Chris Evans, who fans have been waiting to see explode onto the scene. The former sixth-round pick really just hasn't been given a chance to this point and with Williams' longer tenure with the organization, I predict he gets the third RB spot over Evans. Mixon and Brown are non-negotiable. They're making the team.
WR (6): Ja'Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd, Trenton Irwin, Charlie Jones, Andrei Iosivas
I thought about including seven wide receivers here but then I had to include fewer defensive backs. Iosivas is the only one here who isn't a near-lock to make the team. The sixth-round rookie has to put together a solid summer campaign to make the roster and with him being a draft pick, I predict he does enough to secure the final WR spot.
TE (3): Irv Smith Jr., Drew Sample, Devin Asiasi
If Mitchell Wilcox was healthy, I'd have him in the third spot over Asiasi but Wilcox is on the PUP list. Tanner Hudson has been turning heads, however, and could make a play for that third spot on the depth chart.
OL (10): Orlando Brown Jr., Cordell Volson, Ted Karras, Alex Cappa, Jonah Williams, Jackson Carman, Max Scharping, Trey Hill, D'Ante Smith, Cody Ford
With La'el Collins on the PUP list, I opted to include Ford instead. Each starting position has at least one player who can take their place should they get injured.
DL (11): Trey Hendrickson, B.J. Hill, D.J. Reader, Sam Hubbard, Zach Carter, Josh Tupou, Myles Murphy, Joseph Ossai, Cam Sample, Jay Tufele, Tarell Basham
There's a lot of depth at defensive line for the Bengals but I feel good about this group that I wittled it down to. It'd leave last year's seventh-round rookie Jeff Gunter on the outside looking in but I didn't feel comfortable including him over someone else listed above.
LB (5): Logan Wilson, Germaine Pratt, Akeem Davis-Gaither, Markus Bailey, Joe Bachie
This feels pretty set. Maybe Bachie or Bailey get left off if Keandre Jones or one of the undrafted rookies ball out this summer but this will probably be the linebacker unit we see in 2023.
CB (5): Cam Taylor-Britt, Chidobe Awuzie, Mike Hilton, D.J. Turner, Jalen Davis
I had to leave Allan George off but he'll be a practice squad member and can be called up if the Bengals have any injuries here. I also had to exclude seventh-round rookie D.J. Ivey but he's not guaranteed to make the team just because he was drafted by the front office this year. Sidney Jones IV also didn't make the cut.
S (5): Nick Scott, Dax Hill, Jordan Battle, Michael Thomas, Tycen Anderson
Thomas and Anderson aren't locks but Thomas has been a solid special teams contributor and the team will be itching to see what Anderson can do with the speed he covets.
ST (3): Evan McPherson, Brad Robbins, Cal Adomitis
This will be the big three on special teams unless injuries occur. Robbins and Drue Chrisman will be duking it out for the punting job and it feels as though it's Robbins' to lose.