Giovani Bernard high-stepped it early.
JACKSONVILLE - Pro Bowl cornerback Adam Jones had a smile on his face even though he sat out Sunday night's 26-21 loss to the Jaguars when he strained his calf in warmups.
Because when he was asked his status for the Sept. 11 opener he said gleefully, "100 percent for New York. 100 percent."
Jones stopped dressing in front of his locker and ran in place furiously for a few seconds.
"I'm good. When I back-pedaled I didn't feel a pull, I just felt pain," Jones said. "It loosened up as I was going. I was trying to go back out and Coach (Marvin) Lewis said, 'No way.'
"Yeah, if it was the regular season I would have played."
Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Green said the same thing after he limped off the field midway through the first quarter. He said after banging knees with the defender while running a route he would have played had it been the regular season.
The worry is special teams co-captain Cedric Peerman after he fractured his left forearm. He'll be re-examined Monday and if it's a simple break he could be back in six weeks. But if it's complicated he could be looking at his season being over.
LAFELL GETS CATCH: In the middle of all these injuries, Brandon LaFell was coming back from a ligament injury in his hand to make his Bengals debut Sunday night. He had just two targets and one was a pass interference in the end zone from Andy Dalton and the other was an eight-yard catch on the sideline.
"That catch felt great," said LaFell, who has had plenty as a seven-year vet. "Practice is one thing, but it felt great to be out there banging around with the guys feeling fast, feeling great."
Jags cornerback Prince Amukamara interfered with LaFell on third down and it sounds like a good thing.
"I thought it was a touchdown," LaFell said. "Me and Andy have connected on that play in practice lately ."
MAC-ERICKSON AGAIN: For the second time this preseason backup quarterback Andy Dalton found rookie free agent wide receiver Alex Erickson, this one a 21-yard slant where Erickson made a guy miss and that was that for a 21-3 lead in the first minute of the second half. It book-ended his three-yard TD from McCarron in the opener.
"Alex in the red zone is so smart. He knows what to do," said McCarron and he knows exactly what is going through the team's mind with the final 53-man cutdown set for Saturday.
"He's going to be a tough guy not to keep."
Especialy after he ripped off two more punt returns Sunday for 18 and 38 yards, meaning his shortest return is 18 yards.
But even though special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons gave him the first two returns Sunday, Erickson isn't taken anything for granted when it comes to the roster.
"That's not for me to judge. For me, it's about coming out and competing every night, doing the right things and just playing hard," Erickson said. " That's all I can control and that's all I've been trying to do since day one when I got here back in OTAs."
REY-REY: Yes, WILL linebacker Vincent Rey took grief for getting tackled by Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles when the Bengals forced the turnover on the first series. Rey made a nice pickup of the bouncing ball, which was hopping crazily thanks to middle linebacker Rey Maualuga's strip of Jags running back T.J. Yeldon.
Rey picked it up for a 16-yard gain to the Jags 22, but he was thinking TD until the 6-5 Bortles took out his legs.
"How can you let the quarterback tackle you?" was the question for him and Rey said, "Man that's an athletic quarterback."
CHECK:You know the Bengals offense is rolling when quarterback Andy Dalton is changing plays at the line of scrimmage as easily as completing screens and that's how the Bengals got their first touchdown. Dalton sent running back Giovani Bernard as his widest receiver to the left and when he counted the defenders he saw the Jags didn't have enough.
Left guard Clint Boling and tight end C.J. Uzomah made sure of that with devastating blocks on the perimeter and Bernard was able to scoot between them untouched for a 19-yard touchdown.
"I feel like we do a good job of having good schemes and seeing good looks," Dalton said. " I feel like it's a big part of what we do with this offense. Anytime you feel like you can get the team in a good play, we'll have that (result)."
Cincinnati Bengals travel to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in week 3 of the preseason 8/28/2016