Heading into star QB Joe Burrow’s 2nd season, the Cincinnati Bengals have a crucial training camp coming up if they want to turn things around after a 4-11-1 season. When does it start, where will it be held, and are fans allowed to attend?
With phase 3 of the 2021 NFL offseason set to wrap up on June 18th, teams are already looking forward to training camp. It is by far the most grueling and pivotal part of a team’s preparations.
Training camps often include busy days for players and coaches, sometimes with 2 practices a day, weight training, team meetings, and film sessions.
Per the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), no contact is permitted during the first 3 days of camp. Days 4 and 5 will see players at full speed in light equipment called “spiders and shells”, day 6 is a mandatory day off, and finally fully-padded practices start on the 7th day.
Along with the strenuous schedule, full-speed practices mean that both contact and non-contact injuries are very common. Regardless, training camp is mandatory for all players unlike OTAs which are voluntary. If a player doesn’t show up, they risk getting cut by their team.
When Does Training Camp Start for the Cincinnati Bengals?
For the first time in NFL history, there will be a unified start for training camp. 29 franchises, including the Bengals, will kick off their training camps on Tuesday, July 27th.
The Cowboys and Steelers, who will play in the preseason Hall of Fame game, are allowed to begin training camp as early as July 21st. The Buccaneers will also be allowed to start training camp 3 days earlier on the 24th, as they play the season opener against Dallas on a Thursday night.
For the first time, the NFL will have a unified start to training camp, with 29 teams set to report Tuesday, July 27 — 47 days before the Sunday of Week 1, as allowed by the CBA — and plans for league-wide practices and fan events Saturday, July 31.
Midsummer Madness, anyone?
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) May 25, 2021
The #Cowboys and #Steelers can report as early as July 21 because of the hall of fame game. The #Bucs can report July 24 because of a Thursday opener. Players from the other 29 teams are required to report July 27, per the CBA.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) May 25, 2021
Where is the Bengals Training Camp Being Held?
Normally, NFL teams are permitted to hold training camp at outside facilities to improve accessibility for fans, However last year, due to the uncertainty caused by the COVID pandemic, teams were instructed to conduct camp at their own training facilities.
With the situation looking a little more optimistic, the league has informed teams they can return to outside facilities, should they choose to do so. The Cincinnati Bengals’ training camp will be held at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati again this season.
Cincinnati Bengals Training Camp Roster: Key Position Battles to Watch
As usual, teams will start camp with 90-man rosters. They must cut down to 85 players by August 17th and to 80 by August 24th, before settling on a final 53-man roster by August 31st.
The biggest problem for the Bengals last season was their awful offensive line. The Cincinnati Bengals struggled to protect quarterback Joe Burrow last year before the No. 1 overall pick went down with a torn ACL 10 games into his rookie season
After passing on Penei Sewell, the top left tackle prospect in the draft, at No. 5 overall, who plays up front for the offence will be key to identify in training camp. Trey Hopkins will be the starting centre. And Jonah Williams along with Riley Reiff will in all likeliness play the tackle positions. But the guard spots are up for grabs.
As of now, the Bengals will have to pick a pair of starters from a group that includes Michael Jordan, Quinton Spain, Xavier Su’a-Filo and second-round pick Jackson Carman. Carman should be a starter at one guard spot, while Spain is a favourite
Will Fans Be Allowed to Attend Bengals Training Camp?
The NFL is planning to have fans at all training camps, with fan events scheduled to start on July 31st. The NFL and the NFLPA continue to negotiate parameters for fan interactions.
Local Covid restrictions, due to be largely diminished in Ohio on June 2, will guide the fanfare. But fans should not be surprised if they are not as close to the field or the players. Autograph sessions may also be limited or adjusted for player safety per NFLPA concerns.
The Cincinnati Bengals haven’t made any official announcements yet on whether they will allow fans, or how many fans will be allowed into their training camp practices.