Bengals Bites — The decision to practice, focusing on special teams and extra work with Joe Burrow

The Bengals worked primarily on special teams during Thursday's practice
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CINCINNATI — The Bengals opted to practice on Thursday after having a discussion about potentially canceling it like nine other NFL teams did due to the unrest in America following the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

"We had a discussion with our leadership group and we are practicing," A.J. Green said before practice. "We had some great discussion this morning. We'll move forward with that tomorrow with a bigger group and a bigger session."

All 80 players on the Bengals roster are expected to meet tomorrow to discuss social and racial injustice in America. 

Special Teams

The Bengals were focused on special teams during Thursday's practice. It's going to be more challenging to evaluate the back end of the roster without preseason games, so special teams reps in practice are more important than ever.

"We’re going to work real heavy on special teams this week," head coach Zac Taylor said Tuesday. "We have some situations where we’re going to make sure we get a chance to really evaluate guys who are competing for jobs that haven’t been as involved in special teams last year as they will be this year, our new players that Darrin (Simmons) and Colt (Anderson) will need to get a feel for. So we’ll do some good work this Thursday on special teams and really get a much better feel for where guys are at."

They spent most of the practice working on special teams. Stanley Morgan Jr. stood out after thriving as a specialist last season. Alex Erickson, Tyler Boyd and Brandon Wilson got snaps returning kickoffs. 

Extra Work

Joe Burrow walked through plays with A.J. Green, John Ross and Tee Higgins for most of the special teams period. The group worked their way downfield and back multiple times. 

It was good to see Burrow get some extra work in with those guys since they've all missed parts of camp for various reasons. There are plenty of photos from that session and the rest of practice below. 

Other Notes

Joe Mixon wasn't on the field for a second-straight day. He's been dealing with migraines in recent days. Jeremy Rauch of Fox-19 Now reported that Mixon was at the dentist during practice. He hasn't practiced since Sunday. 

Defensive end Carlos Dunlap wasn't on the field. He's missed three straight practices. Carl Lawson also sat for a third straight practice, but he did get some work in on the rehab field. 

Right tackle Bobby Hart was out, which allowed Fred Johnson to get some significant reps with the first-team offense. 

The Bengals snuck in a couple of team periods in-between their special teams work on Thursday. 

Burrow found C.J. Uzomah on the far side of the field for a big gain in 7-on-7. It was a nice back shoulder throw and catch. 

The Bengals ended practice with team gassers. Watch them run in the video below.

For more on the Bengals, including the latest training camp news, go here!