Bengals Notes — Potential opt outs, adding to the roster, A.J. Green and more
CINCINNATI — All 79 players on the Bengals roster were at Paul Brown Stadium for the first time on Tuesday. The group had their first walkthrough together, as the strength and conditioning portion of training camp began for veterans.
That means A.J. Green was on the field running routes and catching passes. He also joined Joe Burrow in the huddle for the first time.
"He makes me really happy, just watching him walk through routes," Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said of Green. "He’s been obviously been studying it. It was just really good to see him out there for the first day of practice."
The entire roster and all of the coaches are adjusting on the fly with the new COVID-19 safety measures that the Bengals and the other 31 NFL teams have implemented.
No one has tested positive for coronavirus since the Bengals opened up their doors and let players into team facilities.
Kendall Futrell is the only player that has tested positive for COVID-19 and he did so during the early stages of testing. He was placed on the reserve list. The Bengals signed him as an undrafted free agent in April.
"We've talked to our guys about being mature, being unselfish," Taylor said. "It's going to be critical this year. A lot of things you've been allowed to do in the past, we can't do it this year... You're not just taking care of yourself and your family, but your teammates and your coaches and their families."
The Bengals have had two players — Isaiah Prince and Josh Tupou — opt out due to COVID-19. Taylor doesn't anticipate anyone else making that decision between now and Thursday's 4 p.m. deadline.
That doesn't mean a player isn't going to have a change of heart, but it sounds like the guys that were at Paul Brown Stadium on Tuesday hope to be there for the duration of the season.
Adding a Free Agent
Tupou's decision to opt out makes defensive tackle a need for the Bengals. There are plenty of interior linemen across the NFL that have decided to opt out due to COVID-19, which means there could be a competition for some of the top free agent defensive tackles.
The Bengals roster currently sits at 79, which means they have the flexibility to add a free agent at any time.
"We are open to look at a lot of different positions across the board as you see guys get out there," Taylor said. "We'll evaluate our team that we have here in the building for a couple days and see where we're at and then make some of those decisions further. Again, we're open to a lot of things right now to add to our roster."
The Bengals haven't ruled out a reunion with Domata Peko, who is one of the many vets hoping to be signed in the near future.
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