Adam Jones is doing the little things to stay sharp.
The Dog Days are officially here.
While the temperature on the Bengals.com clock burned 85 degrees on the Paul Brown Stadium practice fields Monday, the hottest day of camp, the Bengals started gearing up for Thursday's preseason opener (8 p.m.-Cincinnati's Channel 12) in Kansas City.
That meant the backups were working off cards to give the first team looks in shoulder pads, slowing down what has been a usually brisk camp. Cornerback Terence Newman and WILL linebacker Vontaze Burfict stood up for the first team with interceptions on a day the second-string receivers turned into Chiefs.
But the Bengals medical staff had crisp day in clearing three major offensive players. It put left tackle Andrew Whitworth (calf), wide receiver Marvin Jones (ankle) and tight end Jermaine Gresham (back) on the field for the first time Monday. Only Gresham worked in 11-on-11 while Whitworth and Jones did individual drills.
Also cleared were wide receiver Ryan Whalen (hamstring) and defensive tackle Zach Minter (foot).
Gresham did make a red-zone scoring catch while muscling through some bodies in the end zone, but it's doubtful any of the five are going to play in Kansas City. Also still out are left guard Mike Pollak (knee) and right tackle Andre Smith (concussion). So it is doubtful that Andy Dalton, the $96 million man, is going to get more than one series behind a backup offensive line.
Linebacker Sean Porter also hasn't worked in several days with an unknown ailment and looks like a Thursday scratch.
PLAYER OF THE DAY: Rookie wide receiver James Wright.
Wright didn't do anything spectacular. He made a couple of nice catches, splitting the safeties once and hauling in a short one over the middle for another. But that's the story. He has quietly been doing this every day and so now he steps into the Thursday pressure cooker with a very real chance of winning a roster spot.
The 6-1, 201-pound Wright arrived in the seventh round out of LSU as a well-known special teams magnate, but he has grown on them as a receiver. He has adapted quickly to the Bengals routes, has excellent speed, and has strong hands attached to a body that always seems to get leverage much of the time. The more they watch him, it's more of a mystery to them that he couldn't get on the field at Baton Rouge for at least one catch last year. Even if he was playing behind Odell Beckham (No. 12 to the Giants) and Jarvis Landry (No. 63 to the Dolphins). After all, Wright had 18 balls the year before for 13.4 yards per catch.
PLAY OF THE DAY: While the backups worked late in practice, cornerback Adam Jones picked his spots and did six "gassers,' on his own, running sideline to sideline three times.
"I just want my wind to stay up," Jones said. "They're scaling it back (for Thursday), so I just want to make sure I stay in shape. We just had a day off. I want to make sure I'm doing everything possible to stay where I'm at and not fall back."
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "You've got all the money, all the fine cars, your family is taken care of, you've got good position. Now what are you going to play for? You have to play for yourselves, you've got to play for your career, you've got to play for your fans. When you come out here and play, you want to be remembered. Who the hell you are and how well you played your position."
Former WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley, one of boxing's more passionate artists, spoke to the Bengals Monday on a visit to training camp and that's what he said he told them. At 31-1 and off last April's unanimous decision defeat to Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas, Bradley is also looking to get back into the playoffs.