‘It Was a Veteran Move On My Part’: Why Mike Hilton Gifted Tyler Boyd a TD on Day 14 of Bengals Camp

Nearly three weeks from the season opener, the Bengals veteran cornerback played it safe against one of the team's top offensive weapons.

One of the biggest plays for the Cincinnati Bengals‘ offense in Wednesday’s practice was a deep touchdown pass from Jake Browning to Tyler Boyd during the spirited Red Zone Lockout drill.

Boyd shielded Hilton with his body and went up to high point the ball, while Hilton looked as though he was conceding the touchdown.

Then just like that, the touchdown wasn’t a touchdown. The two teams returned to the original line of scrimmage and head coach Zac Taylor sent in a new play.

Cincinnati Bengals Camp Day 14

So why was the touchdown canceled?

“Because Trey was complaining,” center Ted Karras said of defensive end Trey Hendrickson. “It’s certainly not rare for Trey to voice his opinion.”

The coaches deemed Hendrickson would have sacked Browning before he threw the ball against a zero blitz.

“There was a debate whether it was a sack or not,” Browning said. “I’m not sure.”

He rendered the call moot with a touchdown pass on the next play, with Tee Higgins adjusting to the underthrown ball to beat Cam Taylor-Britt.

The other big question about the deep ball to Boyd was what exactly Hilton was doing, or not doing as the case was, as he didn’t make any sort of play on the ball.

“We’re three weeks away from the season, so I’m not about to attack the ball where me or TB come down and turn our ankle or something,” Hilton said. “I knew I was in great position to make a play on the ball, but at the same time, I want him to get his technique right, going up and attacking the ball and just tracking it. Me, I’m not trippin’ over that play. I feel like that was a veteran move, and that’s just me taking care of our guys.”

Attendance Report: Tee Higgins Back To Work

One day after taking an awkward spill and sitting out the rest of the practice, Higgins was not only back to work but participating more in the team period than he has since the first week of practice. He was wearing a compression sleeve on his right leg that ran from below the knee to his cleats.

Right guard Alex Cappa, who had been dealing with lower body tightness, returned to take part in team drills for the first time in more than a week.

Rookie first-round pick Myles Murphy was not at practice and was not present in the locker room during the portion open to the media.

Cornerback Sidney Jones IV missed a third consecutive practice.

Joe Mixon missed his second consecutive practice while on trial for aggravated menacing a few blocks away. The trial will resume Thursday, which means Mixon could miss the flight to Atlanta for the preseason game.

DJ Ivey Stating His Case

With rookie second-round pick DJ Turner making splash plays seemingly every day in practice, rookie seventh-rounder DJ Ivey has been a bit under the radar. But the University of Miami product continues to show up in big spots, which he did twice on Wednesday.

The first game on the final play of a move-the-ball drill when Browning took a deep shot for Andrei Iosivas on third-and-12, only to have Ivey knock it away.

Then in the Red Zone Lockout drill, Ivey thwarted Iosivas again with a leaping PBU in the corner of the end zone on a third-and-goal fade pass.

“I’m feeling pretty good about what I’ve been able to show them,” Ivey said. “I’m just stacking days and trying to get perfect at something each and every day even though I know I’m never gonna be perfect at one thing. But I feel like I’m on the right track.”

Ivey played 49 snaps (74%) Friday night against the Packers, one shy of the team high for defensive players.

“It felt faster than practice, but after the second quarter went by and I was getting into the groove, it felt normal,” he said.

Ivey also had a heavy workload on special teams, appearing on punt return, punt coverage, kick return, kick coverage and field goal block. He’s expected to see a lot of time in Game 2 against the Falcons with veteran corner Sidney Jones IV missing the last four practices.

Camp Chapter Ends

Wednesday marked the final practice open to the public, and the Bengals announced more than 40,000 fans showed up for the 14 practices that began July 26.

Training camp official continues Sunday after the team gets back from Preseason Game 2 in Atlanta, but the final four practices will be open only to sponsors, family members, and other VIPs.

The team will practice Sunday and Monday, followed by an off day, then Wednesday and Thursday before flying to Washington for the preseason finale against the Commanders.

After that the team will have two weeks to get ready for the regular-season opener in Cleveland.

Odds and Ends

  • It’s an evergreen report at this point, but Trey Hendrickson and Sam Hubbard were living in the offensive backfield again Wednesday and, perhaps not coincidentally, the offense had three false starts. Hubbard also had a tackle for loss on a screen pass to Ja’Marr Chase.
  • Joseph Ossai added two sacks, and DJ Reader had one.
  • Cornerback Chidobe Awuzie continues to be held out of team drills, but he once again was running with Tee Higgins and Chase when the offense was doing 7-on-air drills.
  • One day after Higgins had his collision with Cam Taylor-Britt and Nick Scott, cornerback DJ Turner and safety Dax Hill smacked into each other going for a deep ball to Chase on the first play of 11s. Both players went down hard but got up and continued practicing. Taylor-Britt was still giving Turner grief after practice about dropping the interception.
  • Evan McPherson hit a 57-yard field goal in the Red Zone Lockout drill.
  • With Myles Murphy out, 2022 seventh-round pick Jeff Gunter had a good practice, including a sack.
  • Super Bowl XXIII hero Standford Jennings at practice with his wife and daughter.

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