For the third consecutive practice, Cincinnati Bengals guard Mike Pollak took snaps at center Tuesday, all with the second team.
Rookie Russell Bodine is still listed as the starter, but with Pollak recovered from the knee injury he was battling at the start of camp, it appears the coaches are bolstering their Plan B in case they don’t feel Bodine is ready when the regular season opens Sept. 7 in Baltimore.
“I still don’t know what the overall plan is,” said Pollak, who played the position for four years at Arizona State and has seen limited action there as a pro, most recently at the end of the Bengals’ 49-9 victory against the Jets last October.
He started three games at right guard and two at left guard last season.
“I come out and ask where I am each day,” the versatile Pollak said. “Whatever gets me in a role to get on the field. I just want to play where I can. I’m later in my career. I know my days are numbered. As long as I can get in there, that’s what I care about.”
Bodine has had a number of high, hot snaps through spring drills and into training camp, and another one almost got away from quarterback Jason Campbell in Thursday’s 41-39 loss at Kansas City.
Pollak said former Colts great Jeff Saturday helped him change the way he snapped the ball when Pollak arrived in Indianapolis as a rookie 2008, and he’s tried to pass that lesson on to Bodine.
“I’ve kind of told him how I do it, but I’m not going to push upon him how he does it,” Pollak said. “Each guy does their own thing. He’s a rookie center. He’s still trying to learn the offense, and he’s had some snap issues. He’s been rolling with the punches. He’s got a lot to work on, but he’s done a great job so far.”
As for the knee, Pollak said it feels great and he’s anxious to see how it holds up in his first game action after sitting out the Chiefs game.
QB ready: Newly signed quarterback Tyler Wilson said his playbook cramming is going well and he expects to play in Saturday’s preseason game against the New York Jets.
In normal circumstances there would be no reason to rush Wilson, who is with his third team since being drafted in the fourth round by Oakland last year. But Campbell missed his third consecutive practice Tuesday, making it unlikely he will play against the Jets.
“At this point it’s what I’ve been told,” Wilson said. “You have to be mentally prepared to play, as tough as it is. You have to cram as much information into a short period of time as you can and then let them know what you’re able to do.
“Don’t assume that they know what you know,” he continued. “That’s going to be my biggest effort, to give them the information that I’m familiar with so they can make the calls and help us win the game.”
With Andy Dalton likely to play two or three series, the Bengals would like to have Wilson ready so that Matt Scott doesn’t have to play the final three quarters.
Injury update: Right tackle Andre Smith and defensive tackle Domata Peko were dressed and on the field Tuesday, signaling they are close to returning from concussion protocol. Both were limited to stretching and light work in warmups but did not participate in 11-on-11 drills.
Offensive tackle Marshall Newhouse, who started the Kansas City game at left guard, left on a golf cart late in Tuesday’s practice with an undisclosed injury.
Defensive tackles Brandon Thompson (illness) and Geno Atkins (knee), cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick (hip) and linebacker Sean Porter (knee) did not practice.
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