Another year, another postseason heartbreak for the Bengals. After winning the AFC North with a 12-4 record, the Bengals snuck past the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Wild Card and steamrolled the Bills in the Divisional game to set up yet another date with Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. Mahomes ended up getting the best of Joe Burrow and the Bengals, however, as they picked up the win thanks to a Harrison Butker field goal at the buzzer.
Here’s what to know about what the start of their 2023 season will look like.
Cincinnati Bengals training camp start date
Rookies reporting: July 22
Veterans reporting: July 25
First preseason game: 8/11 vs. Packers
Key position battles to watch
While the Bengals shored up the left side of their offensive line this season with the signing of left tackle Orlando Brown Jr., the right side is still a wide-open competition between Jonah Williams, La’el Collins, and Jackson Carman. Williams, who played in all sixteen games for the Bengals last season as a left tackle, is the clubhouse favorite, especially since Collins is still recovering from a torn ACL he suffered last season. That said, Williams isn’t 100% either (he suffered a knee injury late last season), which means that Carman could end up being the last man standing,
The one thing we know for certain is that Joe Mixon will open the 2023 season as the Bengals’ starting running back. Everything after that is a crapshoot. Last year, Samaje Perine impressed as the Bengals’ backup, but he bolted for Denver in the offseason, which leaves rookie Chase Brown, Chris Evans and Trayveon Williams as the three options to earn the backup spot. My eyes are on Brown, who tallied 1,643 rushing yards with the University of Illinois last second, which was the 2nd-best mark in the nation.
Like running back, the Bengals’ wide receiving situation is settled up until it isn’t. Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd are settled as the team’s top three wideouts, but after that, it’s an open competition between Trent Irwin, Trent Taylor, and Charlie Jones, among others.
The two Trents likely have the inside track due to their familiarity with the franchise (Irwin caught four touchdowns last season), but keep an eye out for Jones, a rookie out of Purdue who impressed at the combine.