The Cincinnati Bengals Have One Big Advantage on the AFC North Heading Into Week 2

While the other teams in the division lost key players for significant stretches, the Cincinnati Bengals are getting closer to having everyone available.

On a day when the Cincinnati Bengals had one of their worst offensive showings in team history and lost a franchise-record sixth consecutive game in Cleveland, there was one positive light to emerge from the rain and gloom.

Health on the Bengals Side After Week 1

Head coach Zac Taylor offered a positive update on how his players came out of Sunday’s 24-3 loss to the Browns.

“We’ll continue to assess, but I think there’s a good chance that most of our team’s ready to go,” he said. “If not, maybe practice on Wednesday. We’ll find out some more a little bit later today, but (everybody) should be ready to go later in the week.”

Asked if that included only those who played Sunday, Taylor said defensive end Joseph Ossai, who was inactive with a right ankle injury, is trending in a positive direction.

“He is day to day right now. We’ll see where he is at,” Taylor said. “I don’t want to make any guesses, but he had a really good week last week.”

Ossai injured his ankle in the preseason finale on Aug. 26 at Washington. His absence led to some of the other defensive linemen playing a lot more snaps than usual. Sam Hubbard played 61 snaps (82%), and B.J. Hill logged 56 (76%).

“Myles (Murphy) got some snaps,” Hubbard said, referring to the team’s rookie first-round pick, who saw 13 reps. “I think his snaps are gonna start to tick up, take some more off me. I think I played 60, which is too many snaps for a long season. He’s ready to step up and help me out. We’re excited for Joseph for whenever we can get him back. That will be great, too.”

Fifty-two of the 53 players on the active roster were full participants in every practice last week. If Ossai is able to return, the Bengals could be operating with a rare clean sheet.

That’s a luxury no other team in the division has after a brutal Sunday of injuries that saw each of the other three teams lose key players either for the season or extended absences.

Baltimore — Cincinnati’s Week 2 opponent — took the biggest hit, losing running back J.K. Dobbins for the season (Achilles), while center Tyler Linderbaum, left tackle Ronnie Stanley, and safety Marcus Williams all will miss time.

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Quarterback Joe Burrow said his right calf strain, which cost him five weeks of practice in training camp, felt “good enough” Sunday despite his career-worst performance, and the assumption is he will continue to be a full participant when the Bengals return to the practice field Wednesday.

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