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Bengals Pregame Quick Hits: Browning Expected to Start At QB; Another Milestone For Chido

CB Chidobe Awuzie walks during pregame warm-ups at FedEx Field before kickoff of the Bengals-Commanders preseason game on Saturday, August 26, 2023.
CB Chidobe Awuzie walks during pregame warm-ups at FedEx Field before kickoff of the Bengals-Commanders preseason game on Saturday, August 26, 2023.

LANDOVER, Md. _ Jake Browning is expected to get the start in Saturday night's preseason finale (6:05-Cincinnati's Local 12) against the Commanders here at FedEx Stadium in the last bid to win the Bengals backup quarterback job.

It's unclear if that assignment means Browing has the edge over veteran Trevor Siemian, but he did lead the Bengals' only touchdown drive of the preseason and he had slightly more snaps in during this week of practice. Head coach Zac Taylor indicated earlier in the week that they won't split the entire game. They may each get more than a quarter with Reid Sinnett expected to get the bulk of the work in the second half in his first Bengals action.

Browning and Siemian again won't have the starting offensive line in front of them, as well as one of the backups who had been playing well. Cody Ford, who has been playing guard and tackle and seems to have a real shot to make it because of versatility, won't play because of a concussion suffered last week. Jackson Carman and D'Ante Smith figure to play both tackles at some point. After not playing the position until this year, Max Scharping is expected to make his make his second straight start at center.

CHIDO SIGHTING: None of the starters are playing, but No. 1 cornerback Chidobe Awuzie is expected to go through warmups as if he were playing. It marks another milestone in his bid to start Opening Day in 15 days in Cleveland, the scene of his Halloween Night ACL tear.

Last Sunday he returned to seven-on-seven. On Monday he worked in team drills for about a third of the snaps. On Wednesday he intercepted the first pass of the team drills, and on Thursday he appeared to take most of the snaps in a streamlined practice.

SLANTS AND SCREENS: With the Bengals decimated at cornerback (rookie DJ Turner and Sidney Jones IV have hamstring injuries and Marvell Tell III has a concussion), it's a big night for the potential last spot at that position with D.J. Ivey and sophomore Allan George looking at a lot of snaps. Back-up slot Jalen Davis, who figures to make it, is also going to play a ton. Head coach Zac Taylor expected such. He named him the game captain.

Veteran safety and incumbent special teams captain Mike Thomas looks to be in a roster battle with sophomore safety Tycen Anderson and it looks like he'll get a ton of snaps, too, some even at cornerback as he did in practice last week. Plus, Yusuf Corker just returned to practice Thursday after an injury absence and while he may get some snaps, he's probably not ready to get a lot …

Tight end Mitch Wilcox is expected to get some limited work as he makes his first appearance since recovering from offseason meniscus surgery. With Tanner Hudson back from a concussion, that's a glimpse of the fight at the third and final tight end spot …

Rookie Brad Robbins and incumbent Dru Chrisman are expected to alternate punts and alternate holding by halves. Robbins figures to have the edge with Chrisman only having one punt this preseason …