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Quick Hits: Burrow Won't Play In Tampa; Mixon, WRs To See Some Snaps; NT Tupou Impresses

Josh Tupou has been impressive.
Josh Tupou has been impressive.

No big surprise when before Sunday's practice Bengals head coach Zac Taylor ruled quarterback Joe Burrow out of Saturday's preseason opener (7:30 p.m.-Cincinnati's Channel 12) in Tampa. And no decision if he'll play in the other two preseason games.

If you ask Burrow, of course, he'd love to.

"But at the end of the day it's not my decision and I don't get paid to make that decision. I get paid to play quarterback," Burrow said on Saturday.

On Sunday the guy who gets that paycheck said everyone else but injured players is going to see some kind of action against the Super Bowl champs and that includes running back Joe Mixon.

"Some of those guys, you can get them out there and protect them a little bit differently if they play running back or receiver," Taylor said. "Each guy's going to get some snaps and at least walk on the field, aside from Joe and maybe a couple other guys dealing with injuries. We'll be smart with how we put them out there and just let them get into the groove a little bit."

INJURY UPDATE: Nothing earth shaking, but a lot of naggers. It sounds like defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi, one of the big free-agent pickups, is going to make his Bengals debut this week. He's been nursing a hamstring pull since conditioning drill the day before the first practice.

With Taylor scheduling a Sunday practice light on offense-defense and heavy on special teams followed by Monday's off day, a bunch of guys figure to get Sunday off before the Tuesday-Thursday stretch.

Taylor, not long on specifics (and he doesn't have to be on injuries until the regular season, said the players expected to be out the longest (about a week) are third tackle Fred Johnson (quad) and backup safety Ricardo Allen.

Rookie tackle D'Ante Smith got a look at left guard Saturday with Quinton Spain not working on his 30th birthday and since Smith did well and Spain is expected to be back in a couple of days, Smith is probably back in there Sunday.

Staring edge Trey Hendrickson is back on Tuesday after getting Saturday and Sunday off. Starting cornerback Trae Waynes has been out for about week and he's getting back to individual work with a return expected in a few days. Same with backup cornerback Eli Apple.

ANOTHER JOE: With Hendrickson out, third-rounder Joseph Ossai has been getting some pretty good snaps, particularly in the run game. When the Bengals went about fixing their defense in the offseason, they sought more physical run players on the edge to better defend the run, such as Hendrickson, Ossai and Cam Sample.

"The great thing about all those rookies that we brought in: football is very, very important to them," said defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo before Sunday's practice. "It means a lot. They've got great confidence in their abilities, they're stout. So again, those guys have done a good job of doing what you suggested in setting edges and things like that."

Ossai received some infamy when he stumbled into Burrow on an unblocked sack on the last play of Saturday's team work. Veteran nose tackle D.J. Reader took it upon himself to do the classy vet thing and lead Ossai off the field with some advice. He revealed before Sunday's practice that he also didn't want Ossai to hear the heated comments coming his way.

"That's a heated moment between a lot of people," Reader said. "When the quarterback is hit I don't want him to hear necessarily the rants and rah-rahs and whatever was going on. I kind of just wanted to let him know, 'Look, you've got to stay away from the quarterback but also let him recognize that's a third and long play and that's going to be a sack.' So, it's not all bad. It's bad because it's a practice situation. I want him to understand that's a good play."

Reader has also been impressed what Ossai is doing against the run. And not just him.

"He's a bigger kid. All of those kids are really good against the run. It's surprising," Reader said. "That's pretty much the toughest thing. They're doing a good job of doing what it actually takes to play the run in this league. It takes all 11 bodies."

Fourth-rounder Tyler Shelvin, the massive defensive tackle from LSU, is getting back into shape and adjusting to a league where 350-pound guys can get moved. In the meantime, veteran nose tackle Josh Tupou, who opted out last season, has come back impressing people.

"Big miss for us last year," Anarumo said. "He's a space-eater. He's a big guy who can move. He uses his hands well. He's come back in great shape. He's been, I don't want to say a pleasant surprise, but it's been nice to have Josh back in the building, playing at a high level. We've just got to keep him (healthy)."

View some of the best images from Day 11 of the Bengals Training Camp in Cincinnati.