REPORT DATE: July 26th
SITE: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH
CAMP OBJECTIVES: The Bengals were hit with some sobering news right as they were beginning preparations for the upcoming season, with the team's top 2012 draft pick -- cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick -- fracturing his knee bone just prior to the start of camp. His expected absence for likely the entire preseason is a bad break for a secondary in which top cornerback Leon Hall will be handled delicately in practices as he comes back from a torn Achilles, but increases the chances of veterans Jason Allen or Adam Jones handling nickel duties in Week 1. The most contentious camp battle will take place at wide receiver, where a host of promising but unproven options are competing to start opposite rising star A.J. Green. Return specialist Brandon Tate and onetime practice-squad member Armon Binns each turned heads in the spring to vault into contention, with rookie Mohamed Sanu (3rd Round, Rutgers) squarely in the mix as well. One of that group could also receive some work at slot receiver with top option Jordan Shipley still recovering from an ACL tear suffered last September. Chris Crocker's offseason release has created a void at strong safety the team hopes to fill with former 49ers second-round selection Taylor Mays, who's played sparingly his first two pro seasons, though the coaching staff is also high on 2012 fifth-rounder George Iloka.
PRESEASON SCHEDULE (All Times Eastern):
Aug. 10 - vs. N.Y. Jets, 7:30 p.m. Aug, 16 - at Atlanta, 8 p.m. Aug. 23 - vs. Green Bay, 7 p.m. Aug. 30 - at Indianapolis, 7 p.m.