The Cincinnati Bengals are one team that can't wait for the NFL preseason to finish. The Super Bowl runners-up have gone 0-2 to start their exhibition slate and things don't get any easier in the finale when they host the defending champions, the Los Angeles Rams, on Saturday at 6 p.m. ET.
Saturday's matchup is the final opportunity for Bengals players to prove why they should be on the 53-man roster. Between fresh faces and returning veterans, everyone involved in this weekend's clash has something to prove before the preseason finale.
Here are three things to watch for when the Bengals face the Rams on Saturday.
Cincinnati Bengals Preseason
1. Will Thursday's Joint Practice Issues Be Felt During the Game?
The Bengals and Rams made headlines on Thursday when a fight broke out at a joint practice. The festivities were highlighted by three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald, who was seen swinging his helmet at the opposition. Fights aren't exactly a rare occurrence at joint practices, however, this was different considering that Los Angeles and Cincinnati just met at Super Bowl LVI. Taking into account the Bengals wanting revenge for February's defeat and Thursday's scuffle, it wouldn't be shocking if some of the bad blood was still there on Saturday. If that's the case, Zac Taylor must keep his team well-disciplined if he hopes to end the preseason on a high note.
2. Can Thaddeus Moss Prove that he Deserves Playing Time?
Fans expected big things from tight end Thaddeus Moss last year due to his time spent with Joe Burrow at LSU. Much to his dismay, the son of Hall-of-Famer Randy spent most of the 2021 season hurt and when he was healthy, he couldn't play his way off the practice squad. He's had his on-and-off moments during this preseason, recording 40 receiving yards and a pair of first downs while catching 4-of-5 targets. With TEs Drew Sample and Mitchell Wilcox banged up, the Bengals need Moss to step up and prove that he can be a reliable backup option behind Hayden Hurst. A strong showing this weekend will help that.
3. Left Guard Battle
The Bengals opened training camp with a left guard battle between 2021 second-round pick Jackson Carman and 2022 fourth-rounder Cordell Volson. Though the battle was neck-and-neck for a bit, Volson pulled ahead when Carman missed the last week's game due to COVID-19. Volson went on to only give up a sack and two pressures on 67 offensive snaps and ended up practicing with the starters this week. Obviously, Carman can't stop himself from getting sick, but the reality is he's significantly behind Volson in this race. With the Bengals wanting to give Burrow as much protection as possible, both Carman and Bolson must give it their all to take the clear-cut lead.
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