The Bengals are six weeks out, give or take a few days, from opening training camp. And they have just two voluntary practices left before the six-week break heading into the preseason.
But for Joe Burrow, the cover guy of the AFC's defending champs, it's already on.
"It's go time … We're locked in," Burrow said after Tuesday's workout. "I'm thinking about football every day. This month leading up to camp, it's more intense in practice, more intense in the meeting rooms and my workouts and all of the above. It's go time."
Burrow says he's still planned some trips, but he'll take his trainer along because he says he doesn't want to miss a workout this close to camp. (One of those trips is to Las Vegas with safety Jessie Bates III, the Bengals franchise free agent who hasn't been at the voluntaries.)
Burrow also said he plans to meet with some of his receivers in Cincinnati a week or two before camp to get in some throwing. He doesn't feel like they have to make an elaborate junket out of it.
"To be determined," Burrow said. "We had a great six weeks of camp here. There'll be guys in town." …
Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said the starters who rehabbed injuries this spring, wide receiver Tee Higgins (shoulder), middle linebacker Logan Wilson (shoulder) and right guard Alex Cappa (core), are on target to be at training camp. Same with back-up edge Joseph Ossai (knee, wrist).
"I should be careful to say someone is going to be ready day one of training camp," Taylor said. "But the thought is they've really attacked the rehab, doing all the things, the progression has been as we hoped it would be. It remains to be seen these five weeks how they handle it, but I'm encouraged that they'll be ready to go." …
Rookie cornerback Cam Taylor-Britt was excused from practice ...
New Bengals center Ted Karras, who grew up in Indianapolis, got to experience one of the beauties of playing close to home when dad Ted attended Tuesday's practice. The eldest Karras, a former NFL defensive lineman who became a coach, is back in the coaching ranks after a five-year absence and surfaced at Paul Brown Stadium as the defensive line coach for Indiana's St. Francis College, the alma mater of Bengals linebackers coach James Bettcher.
"I feel invigorated being back in it and it's just great to see Ted out there," said the elder Karras.
As expected, his son has been a big hit with Burrow.
"Ted's awesome," Burrow said. "A loud leader up front that you want in your center. He's above and beyond what we could ask for." ...
Free-agent defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi is here certainly in spirit. Ogunjobi, who had such a big year last season with seven sacks, broke his foot in the Wild Card Game. When his ensuing $40 million deal with the Bears was voided when they flunked him on the physical, he's been on the market ever since.
The Bengals know he's out there, but there is the matter of his health, as well as reaching a deal. Still, he's highly regarded around here and his mates would love to see him back. Especially fellow Greensboro, N.C., product D.J. Reader, the guy who played next to him at nose tackle.
Even new right tackle Alex Cappa is thinking of him. On Monday, he went through the Bengals national media day twice, with No. 66, as well as No. 65, the jersey Ogunjobi wore last year.
Just in case.
"Great teammate for sure," Reader said of Cappa. "Keep the number open and hopefully he'll be back … He has to make the best decision for him."