Rain forces Bengals to move practice
CINCINNATI (AP) — Rain forced the Bengals to move their practice from their outside fields to Paul Brown Stadium on Thursday, one of the few wrinkles they’ve had in their first week of training camp.
There’s been only one notable injury on a team that thinks it can contend for a fifth straight playoff spot so long as it stays healthy.
“I’m pleased with the beginning of camp,” coach Marvin Lewis said.
“It has been a good opportunity, particularly over the last three practices, with the addition of shoulder pads and so forth. We can really work on the physical parts of football which we were anxious to get to, and I’ve been pleased with where we are.”
The Bengals open the preseason on Friday, Aug. 14, at home against the New York Giants. They’ll have joint practices with the Giants on Tuesday and Wednesday.
For the most part, the Bengals have stayed healthy through the first week of camp. Defensive end Michael Johnson sprained his right knee and will miss a few weeks. Defensive end Margus Hunt was cleared to resume practice after recovering from back problems.
One noticeable absence: Receiver Marvin Jones has been limited to working with trainers the last three days because of an undisclosed injury.
Jones missed all of last season because of a broken foot and two ankle injuries. The Bengals were hoping he could play a big role in their passing game this season.
“Marvin has got to get to practice if Marvin wants to get to play,” Lewis said. “That’s part of it. He hasn’t played football for us for a year, basically. He had two or three practices, whatever he had, last year in the fall. Marvin has got to get prepared to play NFL football.”
Jones caught 18 passes for 201 yards and one touchdown as a rookie in 2012 and became a viable second target for quarterback Andy Dalton behind A.J. Green when he made 51 catches for 712 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2013.
“He’s got to be like everybody else and find a way to get out there and get going,” Lewis said. “The passing game is a lot about timing and repetition. It just doesn’t happen. You have to work through it and practice and play and do those things.”
Notes: Thursday’s practice included several 1-on-1 drills between the offensive and defensive players. The battles between the receivers and defensive backs became intense. “Oh, we won today,” offensive coordinator Hue Jackson said. … Lewis said Andy Dalton will get up to 25 plays on Saturday during a simulated game at Paul Brown Stadium. … LB Vontaze Burfict remains sidelined as he returns from two knee operations. He has been rehabbing out of the sight of the public and media during camp, with the exception of one day. It’s unclear when he might be cleared to practice.