Bengals full offense almost back together again

Burrow takes part in second practice of week

Cincinnati Bengals coach Zac Taylor said he didn’t need to ask Joe Burrow how he was feeling after his first practice of training camp Sunday. He “just assumed” based on how Burrow looked that he felt good, too.

The third-year quarterback missed almost three weeks of training camp because of an appendectomy, but he put on the full pads Sunday and participated in everything but 11-on-11s.

He was scheduled for another similar day Monday, including 7-on-7s again. The Bengals are glad to have their quarterback on the field in any fashion.

“I thought he moved around well, and so again, we’ll just continue to take it day by day,” Taylor said Monday. “Today is another opportunity to do that. Tomorrow (Tuesday) is a player day off. I’m sure he’ll do some stuff with that, and the rehab stuff and then we’ll see where we’re at on Wednesday. That’s undetermined where we’ll be at. Get him a chance to do another day like he did (Sunday) and that was encouraging for everybody to see.”

Taylor said there is a “good plan in place” now to make sure over the remaining time in training camp, the Bengals are giving him the looks he needs to see and the reps to be ready for Week 1 against Pittsburgh.

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This week will be a good chance to see where he is with his fitness, but Taylor said Burrow gets a better workout in the individual drills than he does in 7-on-7s and eventually the 11-on-11s. The team drills are important for getting back into the group, building timing of throws and accuracy and going against a defense with a chance to see some good disguises.

What the quarterbacks do with coach Dan Pitch in individual drills tests his movement more and is better for evaluating fitness, Taylor said.

“Truthfully I didn’t learn much about his fitness yesterday,” Taylor said. “I got to see him throw the ball further than I’d seen him throw. On some routes on air, he looked very crisp doing that. He played on time and was aggressive with his decision making. That was all encouraging. That’s what I gained yesterday, not so much the full body fitness.”

Burrow hasn’t been made available to local media yet.

Wide receiver Tee Higgins said Burrow is throwing “really, really good,” despite the time off from practice. Burrow had been practicing with the rookies after they first reported to camp, but the day veterans reported, he was in the hospital for his procedure.

“It was a great sight to see,” Higgins said. “Last time I saw him throw he was with the rookies, the rookie camp when they reported first. That was last time I saw him throw, and seeing him come out here yesterday and throw the balls that he did, it was great to see.”

The Bengals finally are getting close to having their full first-team offense together again.

Right tackle La’el Collins began practicing last week after opening camp on the non-football injury list because of a back issue, but he is still taking things “day to day” in terms of when he will be ready for team drills, Taylor said.

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Higgins participated in his first 11-on-11 drills Sunday after the staff had limited him early in camp to make sure he is fully healed from offseason shoulder surgery. He had been itching to get off his leash, so to speak, and said he felt ready to be full-go sooner but understood the need for patience.

“I feel like a bag of money,” Higgins said. “I feel like I’m 100 percent. It felt good. It felt good to be tired and actually running routes. Just being out there with the guys, you know, huffing and puffing so it felt good.”

Taylor had seen his offense together in walk-throughs at least, but said it was good to see everybody out there in practice Sunday.

“It’s good to see Tee out there running around for sure,” Taylor said. “He’s such a big target, a game changer. He does bring a lot of energy to the huddle as well. They all bring certain energy but then when you combine them all it’s just one big ball of energy. They really play off each other, and it’s pretty cool to see that group together.”

Notes: Left guard Jackson Carman was back to practice Monday after sitting out an extra day Sunday because of some elbow discomfort following a full half of playing time in Friday’s preseason opener. ... The Bengals placed center Ben Brown on the reserve/injured list with a biceps injury Monday. Brown, a rookie out of the University of Mississippi, signed in May as a college free agent. Cincinnati’s roster is now down to 85, as was required by Tuesday. Free safety Jessie Bates still has not signed his franchise tender and does not count on the roster.

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