The Cincinnati Bengals made a somewhat serious investment in Cordy Glenn last season when they swapped first-round picks with the Buffalo Bills to acquire him, moving down from 12 all the way to 21. The Pittsburgh Steelers gave up second- and third-round picks to move up from 20 to 10, for perspective.
The former first-round draft pick was the left tackle for the Bengals all of last season. This year, following the drafting of Jonah Williams in the first round, he was going to kick inside to guard, but they plan was aborted following the offseason injury that ended the rookie’s year prematurely.
So he was all set to start the year at left tackle once again. Then he suffered a concussion in the preseason. And it lingered past opening day. And kept lingering. And kept lingering. And then the team disagreed over whether or not it was still lingering. Tensions flared, and in whatever happened, Glenn got himself a one-game suspension.
Yet he remained in the protocol, even as he slowly and eventually returned to practice. He was finally, finally, cleared to play for Week 12 and will start at left tackle for his first game of the season on Sunday in Cincinnati against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Bengals actually declared over a month ago that Glenn had cleared the concussion protocol; the player had disagreements over his actual readiness to return to play. It got to the point where he exchanged heated words with an assistant coach, and even told Zac Taylor to release him.
He has been practicing since then, but not playing. Now, he will be playing. What exactly does that mean for their internal dynamics?
Well, it doesn’t really matter right now, does it? The point is the Bengals are getting their starting left tackle back. Considering they have had players like John Jerry lining up to play there in recent weeks, I think this could be fairly construed as a meaningful development.
In truth, as much as the Bengals’ offensive line has been panned, there has been development. Trey Hopkins is a legitimate player, for example, and continues to play his way into conversations about quality interior linemen around the league.
The Steelers’ front seven had a whale of a time trying to contain Baker Mayfield last week, the Cleveland Browns quarterback frequently able to extend plays and make throws even when the pass rush looked to be getting to him.
Ryan Finley is a similarly mobility-capable quarterback, even if he is only going into his third start, as a rookie. How will Glenn look in his first game back since the preseason? Let’s hope Bud Dupree will have a big hand in answering that question.