The Cincinnati Bengals waived two players who entering training camp were competing for the starting left guard position as they went down from 91 players to 53. The job was won by rookie draft pick Michael Jordan, and currently, the only interior reserve on the roster is 2018 first-round pick Billy Price.
At least, he’s the only backup better suited to play inside. Swing tackle Andre Smith, who spent most of his career as a starter at right tackle, has kicked inside late in his career as well, and left tackle Cordy Glenn was supposed to move over to left guard prior to first-round pick Jonah Williams’ injury prompted him to stay where he is. Glenn is in the concussion protocol and may not play in the opener.
Those competing with Jordan for the left guard job, however, following the retirement of Clint Boling, included veteran free agent John Jerry, Christian Westerman, and Trey Hopkins. The latter won the starting center job over Price, but the other two were released or waived, so that leaves them pretty thin along the interior.
There is Alex Redmond, who missed most of the summer due to injuries, but he is currently serving a four-game suspension to begin the season for violating the league’s policy against performance-enhancing substances.
The Bengals did claim two players off of waivers—wide receiver Pharoh Cooper and running back Samaje Perine, so the team is clearly open to tinkering with the roster further, and you have to wonder, given the circumstances, if they won’t be looking to make further changes to bolster the offensive line depth.
There are some issues with that, though, as injuries necessitate a surplus in some areas. For example, with the claiming of Cooper, they now have seven wide receivers, but they also have A.J. Green and John Ross sidelined with injuries. Green is certain to miss the start of the season, it seems.
To update some news from yesterday, after the Bengals released second-year linebacker Malik Jefferson, a former third-round pick, he was claimed off waivers—by the Cleveland Browns. The Browns have shown to have no problem scooping up players from inside the division, including signing Morgan Burnett after the Pittsburgh Steelers released him.
The Browns currently have seven linebackers, which seems like a bit much, after claiming Jefferson. Don’t be shocked if they move a player in the coming days at that position.