Which Bengals starters will play the first preseason game?

Will we see any of the Bengals starters in Friday's preseason opener?
Cincinnati Bengals v New York Giants
Cincinnati Bengals v New York Giants / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

The Cincinnati Bengals open their 2023 preseason campaign with a home game against the Green Bay Packers. Preseason games might not count in the record books but it's important because it gives players on the roster bubble a chance to prove that they belong on the roster and not off of it.

It's also important because it can determine the key position battles. If two or three players are battling for a starting job, the preseason is how the coaching staff determines who deserves the job.

The Bengals are fortunate to know, at least for the most part, who their starters are going to be. They lost their starting tight end and both of their starting safeties in free agency but TE1 isn't up for debate. Safety, however, could be.

With the preseason being shrunk to only three games with the addition of a regular-season game, it's hard to track when we might see the starters, or IF we'll see them at all.

Zac Taylor spoke to the media ahead of Wednesday's joint practice with the Packers and discussed if the starters would play or not.

Zac Taylor says high number of starters won't play in preseason opener.

It's not unusual for Taylor to not play his starters much during the preseason. After all, these games don't count and any time a key player is out there is a risk for an injury to happen.

At the same time, though, the Bengals started sluggish last year so sometimes having them take reps together in the preseason can be the difference between starting 0-2 and starting 2-0 as crazy as that may sound.

Taylor did say that he's still open to playing the starters in the final two preseason games (both of which will take place on the road) but there's no set plan.

As long as the Cincinnati Bengals avoid injuries in the preseason, we'll call that a win.


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