One of the biggest questions going into Sunday’s season opener in Baltimore was how well rookie center Russell Bodine would hold up in his NFL debut.
Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis called it an “OK” performance, but Bodine was harsher on himself, saying he failed to meet his own expectations.
“I’m not going to be satisfied until I’m perfect, and it’s not ever going to be perfect, so maybe I’ll just walk around grumpy until the end of my career,” Bodine said. “I think you have to have that expectation. You have to strive to be perfect. Is that attainable? Maybe not. But that’s what I’m going to do.”
ProFootballFocus.com gave Bodine a perfect grade in pass protection on 43 dropbacks but a minus-1.3 in run blocking. Lewis said overall he was encouraged by the rookie’s performance.
“There are some things that we want to clean up for him, but it wasn’t too big for him and it wasn’t too physical for him,” Lewis said. “He was good. We’ve just got to keep doing better.”
Haloti Ngata, the Ravens’ five-time Pro Bowl nose tackle, had just two tackles in the game, although Chris Canty did toss Bodine aside on third-and-goal play to tackle Andy Dalton on a draw that forced the Bengals to settle for their second field goal.
“I just got beat,” Bodine said. “That’s all there is to it.”
Also making his starting debut was linebacker Emmanuel Lamur, who had a game-high 11 tackles and an interception.
“It’s a blessing being on that field, looking up in the sky, praying to God. I was getting a little emotional out there,” said Lamur, who appeared in nine games mostly on special teams in 2012 before suffering a season-ending injury in the final preseason game last year.
“I’ve been given a second life,” Lamur said. I’m just enjoying the game, having fun with my boys, just going out there and trying to win games.”
Injury update: Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis didn’t give an update on tight end Tyler Eifert’s injury, and Eifert, whose right arm was in a sling and wrapped in what appeared to be a cast, didn’t want to talk either.
Eifert suffered an elbow injury late in the first quarter of Sunday’s 23-16 win at Baltimore and did not return. It is feared the injury is a dislocated elbow that will keep him out at least six weeks.
Lewis also didn’t have any updates on linebacker Vontaze Burfict, who left in the second quarter with a concussion, or defensive tackle Geno Atkins, who left the field on a cart after the game had ended.
Lewis said Sunday he thought Atkins was just dehydrated.
Roster moves: The Bengals cut cornerback Onterio McCalebb on Monday, one day after he made his NFL debut by playing five snaps on special teams in Baltimore. No corresponding move was announced, so the roster stands at 52, one shy of the limit.
McCalebb was promoted from the practice squad Saturday to be the team’s fifth corner with rookie Darqueze Dennard still dealing with a hip injury. If McCalebb clears waivers, he likely will be re-added to the practice squad.
The Bengals also terminated the contract of wide receiver Cobi Hamilton, who had been on the exempt list of the practice squad.
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