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Cincinnati Bengals Early August Scouting Report
Mark Huber

The Bengals really don't have any news coming out of training camp thus far.

And, believe me, that's a good good thing.

The biggest thing is Joe Burrow's appendix surgery and his not practicing thus far. Grand scheme, not a big deal. Kid will be OK. Don't panic in your fantasy leagues if you have Burrow.

Brandon Allen gets plenty of reps in Burrow's place, so from a team standpoint that's good, but we all would rather have Burrow at 75 percent than Allen.

The main concern for Burrow is up front with Lael Collins, who has not yet practiced in pads because of a bad back. Nobody is hit the panic button yet but until he plays it is a concern. The team is better suited to adjust to a missing Collins but you still want one of the best right tackles in the game in front of Burrow, not a backup whoever that is.

In the backfield, Joe Mixon continues to hold the top spot but Samaje Perine started camp on the PUP list with a core injury and that gave Chris Evans a little bit of life as Mixon's backup. In the end, if healthy, I expect Perine to get the nod on early downs but Evans is the third down backup and can easily supplant Perine.

At wide receiver, JaMarr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd are 1-2-3 and nobody has yet taken hold of those 4-5 spots but the usual suspects are worth keeping an eye on.

At tight end, Hayden Hurst is having a good camp and would be that 4A-4B option in the option with Joe Mixon. Hurst gives the team a better tight end that it had last few years ... but he has to stay healthy. So far, so good on that front.

Evan McPherson is locked as the kicker and is worthy of a high pick if your league uses kickers.

On defense, everybody from a year ago is still solid with no bad news to bring them down.

One big area for IDP players are pass rushers Joseph Ossai and Jeff Gunter getting praise for their work off the edge. They aren't likely to get a major role early but if Trey Hendrickson and/or Sam Hubbard miss any time, Ossai and Gunter will get a chance to shine.

Jessie Bates has not joined the team, opting to holdout rather than play on the Franchise Tag. Interesting to see how that goes. As always, the coaches are giving rookie Dax Hill plenty of opportunities to shine which prompts Twitter blurbs which the team hope prompts Bates to come to camp. While Bates was only a middling safety during the regular season, he was a chart topper in the playoffs and the team rode his play to the Super Bowl.All in all, a pretty quiet camp thus far. As I've said before this is a team that has a solid front-line group with few options for young players to sneak into the top 2 of the depth chart. Our next update will include a preseason game so that will help things get sorted out, including injuries that may juggle the roster.


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