The Cincinnati Bengals completed their first day of Organized Team Activities (OTAs). The biggest news was the return to the field for three players important to the Bengals' chances for success in 2012 who missed all or part of 2011 with significant injuries.
WR Jordan Shipley, DT Pat Sims and LB Roddrick Muckleroy were all back on the field today as the Bengals practiced at Paul Brown Stadium. Shipley is coming off of an ACL tear that required surgery. While the team is easing him back into action, he was running routes today and appeared to be going full speed. Sims was an important part of the Bengals rotation at defensive tackle before being lost to an ankle injury after the second game against Cleveland. Along with Domata Peko, Sims was a major reason for the Bengals' stout run defense. Muckleroy missed the entire season after injuring his Achilles in preseason. He was participating fully in drills today and should compete for playing time backing up Manny Lawson and Thomas Howard.
Other items of note from today's practice:
- Andy Dalton brushed off concerns about his arm strength raised in an article earlier this weeks. Dalton told reporters it wasn't an issue last year and that he doesn't see it limiting his development as a quarterback.
- Brandon Tate got the initial call as the number two receiver, lining up opposite AJ Green. Don't look for that to last. Tate is the only returning receiver with extensive knowledge of the routes run at that position. Jordan Shipley, Andrew Hawkins and Ryan Whalen all played predominately in the slot. As rookies Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones become better acclimated to the system, look for their reps at the number two receiver to increase.
- With Leon Hall not fully cleared to participate and Nate Clements out of action with an abdominal strain, the new Bengals cornerbacks got lots of opportunities. Dre Kirkpatrick also sat out today with a tender hamstring that has carried over from last week's rookie mini-camp. That left Jason Allen, Terence Newman and Adam Jones to take the majority of the snaps. Jones and Newman saw the majority of the time with the first unit.
- The Bengals other first round pick, guard Kevin Zeitler, lined up with the starters at right guard.
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