Attrition is an unfortunate reality of boot camp, especially during the first set of practices. The Bengals struggled even more during Friday’s session – their third straight day of training.
Mike Thomas, who has been vying for the cast but with a firm grip on a spot on the roster, appears to have suffered an ankle injury during his 11 for 11 action.
While it is normal for players to be left out with all sorts of injuries, Thomas has chosen to leave the field under his own power and try to work immediately on the open field.
As the main reserve receiver behind the team’s junior trio, Thomas is the beneficiary of shots with both 1’s and 2’s during training. He made up for losing reps after working out on the JUGS machine.
Mike Thomas got rid of that ankle injury to spend some extra time with the JUGS machine after a workout. He didn’t return to team training, but he never left the field pic.twitter.com/l7MegpRoxP
– James Rapien (@JamesRapien) 29 July 2022
Not to be outdone by Thomas, Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins got their hands on some JUGS work, too.
Chase and Higgins have had picture-perfect camps so far even without quarterback Joe Burrow there. Burrow’s return from an appendectomy is still unknown, but it does not negatively affect his co-stars.
Back on the injury front, drills ended right after rookie rusher Jeff Gunther went down with a left leg injury.
Like Thomas, Gunther came off the field without a cart, but was seen struggling to put weight on his injured leg. We may not see him train a bit to move forward.
Dax Hill is also a beginner, but he doesn’t practice like one. Hill and Cornerback Eli Apple created a pair of twists on back-to-back play from early 11 through 11.
Dax Hill in the first round of the Bengals imposes confusion during team training. Next play, Eli Apple gets smart.
– Ben Baby (@Ben_Baby) 29 July 2022
The secondary as a whole benefited from training against reserve midfielder Brandon Allen. The early parts of the camp usually tend towards defense no matter who falls below position, but it is also expected that one of the strongest units of the team is doing well early on.
On the other side of the ball, the offensive line would like to become one of Cincinnati’s greatest assets, but there is a lot of work to be done.
We won’t see tangible evidence of improvement until all the beginners come along, and Frank Pollack, the most experienced trainer, knows it’s important to get reps.
Bengals OL Frank Pollack, when asked if Lyle Collins needs training reps to play Week One: “Yes and no.”
He said he’s a veteran and could bring up option B there, but getting reps in the camp would be ideal. pic.twitter.com/bYIm8HPnP7
– Ben Baby (@Ben_Baby) 29 July 2022
Jackson Carman needs more reps than anyone expects to start this year, and Pollack, who usually keeps 100 in front of the mic, wasn’t shy about giving the sophomore his tools.
# Bengal The o-line coach says it’s “day and night” how much weight Jackson Karman has lost compared to last year. “I learned a hard lesson” last year during this time, Karman says pic.twitter.com/rmibwMkf54
– Kelsey Conway (@KelseyLConway) 29 July 2022
The more Carman is praised, the bigger the microscope when pads appear and pre-season play begins. But if he impresses his coach too soon, perhaps the leash will grow, too.
Finally, Chris Evans will have a lot of shipments this coming next month, but special teams coordinator Darren Simmons makes him a priority elsewhere. While Brandon Wilson recovers on the PUP roster, Evans gets his first reps when the kick returns.
RB Chris Evans gets his first reps when the kick returns. With Brandon Wilson out, Evans is the favorite to be the kick return.
– Charlie Goldsmith (@CharlieG__) 29 July 2022
This spot would likely give or pull places on the list from some of Evans’ teammates, including free college agent Kwamie Lassiter II. Wilson should also look good when he returns, but Evans could easily escape the role and leave everyone in the dust.
This is what is next month.