Buoyed by 10 practices with what amounted to perfect attendance and a high enough vaccination rate that could allow them to meet in person during training camp and the regular season, head coach Zac Taylor cancelled the remaining two days of mandatory minicamp and sent the Bengals into summer vacation Tuesday afternoon.
Taylor didn't get into a specific percentage of players that have been vaccinated against COVID, but veteran free safety Jessie Bates III indicated that the Bengals are near what is believed to be the magic number of 85 percent that speculation says could opens things back up with in-person meetings. And it may have been one of the reasons Taylor rewarded them with a one-day mandatory mini.
"We are very close to it," Bates said of the magic number. I think that's (why) we got rewarded going home a little early. I think we're on the right path."
- After what turned out to be his final tuneup for training camp in six weeks, quarterback Joe Burrow looked free and easy hitting all nine of his passes in Tuesday's 7-on-7 work and then said he'll be ready for the season barring any setbacks. He said last month he was 85 percent recovered from his December reconstructive left knee surgery and on Tuesday he said he's still at 85 percent but he thinks he could take the first snap of camp.
"I'm sure that will be a conversation," Burrow said.
Taylor made no predictions for Burrow relating to training camp, preseason games or Opening Day, except to say Burrow "is in a good place."
- Taylor revealed the Bengals have lost offensive lineman Hakeem Adeniji for what is believed to be the season after having surgery on a pectoral muscle he tore about ten days ago.
That's an early tough break. After an impressive rookie year the sixth-rounder started five games (three at left tackle, one at right tackle, one as a second tight end), some with the club thought he had a good shot to start at left guard. That makes, at the moment, the fourth tackle D'Ante Smith, one of this year's fourth-rounders. There are still a slew of left guard candidates on the roster in veterans Xavier Su'a-Filo, Quinton Spain and Michael Jordan.