- The Bengals did not start QB Joe Burrow on any of the injured lists and NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport says the plan is for Burrow to be on the field when training camp begins.
- Bengals owner Mike Brown said 90 percent of the team is vaccinated. (Geoff Hobson)
- Brown also gave HC Zac Taylor a vote of confidence: “Zac is a very smart, good, young coach.” (Ben Baby)
- Brown mentioned progress goes beyond just wins and losses: “We know how it’s measured publicly. We better win. Are there things beyond that? There are.” (Baby)
- Brown said bringing back OL coach Frank Pollack should positively impact the offense: “Our offensive line is going to surprise people.” (Baby)
- Regarding Burrow, Brown said everyone on the team is behind him: “He’s extraordinary. He has won over everybody on this team — me included.” (Baby)
- Brown is excited about signing DE Sam Hubbard to an extension: “Sam Hubbard is the type of guy you want on your football team. He has sound ability, but he’s a really good person… I would like to have 53 Sam Hubbards at the end of the day.” (Baby)
- Taylor mentioned C Trey Hopkins and DT D.J. Reader are fully cleared to practice, while DE Cam Sample is day-to-day with a hamstring injury. (Baby)
- Bengals director of player personnel Duke Tobin is hopeful the team can extend S Jessie Bates next: “Hopefully something can come together, but we’ll see.” (Baby)
- The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec points out that while Ravens S Jordan Richards, LB Kristian Welch, CB Davontae Harris and S Anthony Levine are all seen as great special teamers, none of them are even top backups on defense which could hurt them come roster cutdown time.
- Zrebiec adds if the Ravens add DE Justin Houston or another veteran edge rusher, it likely would push a current player off the roster. Zrebiec mentions OLB Jaylon Ferguson specifically.
- Assuming injuries don’t change the roster math, Zrebiec notes the Ravens could potentially flip a player at a position they have some depth for a Day 3 pick, like G Ben Powers or CB Anthony Averett.
“I don’t know, we will see,” Butler said, via Mark Kaboly of The Athletic. “I don’t expect anything. I am just going to watch them…I think Highsmith understands how we did it last year. He was a three-way guy last year. He mingled in there with Bud and T.J. when they got tired. It is hard to have two outside linebackers out there and play the entire game and wrestle a 300-pounder. You always want to kind of have three guys play and we did last year. Alex came in and did a good job of filling that role when Bud was out. We played all three of them quite a bit and so we think we now have three that are capable of playing. Both of them will probably be in there at the same time because we need to rest T.J. some. We feel like we have three good players out there and hopefully, that helps us with sacks.”
Steelers’ HC Mike Tomlin also believes that it is too early to commit to either player, as the team is uncertain what exactly Ingram can bring to the table at this point in time.
“It’s much too early,” Tomlin said. “Right now, we’re just teaching him and seeing how quickly he can learn, and that’s probably going to dictate reps. What we don’t want to do is waste game reps on anyone. His level of preparedness, his ability to execute detail, particularly in the early stages of development, is going to determine how much he participates or when he participates.”
Veteran DE Cameron Heyward has seen Ingram’s play style and likes what he can potentially bring to Pittsburgh in 2021.
“You can move them around and do something,” Heyward said. “I always looked at Melvin’s film and he can be that rover guy where he can penetrate through the B gap and kick guards one-on-one. We will see what coach Buts has cooked up for us. If we have Tuitt, we want the two outside guys and the two inside guys. If we want to do that it is going to have to be a third-and-long situation. Right now, can we put all three of them on the field at the same time? Sure. Does it help us? Not in mixed downs, and what I mean with mixed downs is first and second downs.”
- The Pittsburgh Steelers are “taking a swing” at getting OLB T.J. Watt extended before the start of the NFL season, reports Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer.
- Breer adds if he had to guess, he thinks the Steelers get an agreement in place with Watt, considering it’s far and away the biggest piece of business Pittsburgh has to deal with this summer.