NFL Preseason 2014: Indianapolis Colts vs. Cincinnati Bengals Preview
The Indianapolis Colts and Cincinnati Bengals are going to be facing each other in their Week 4 preseason matchup. The last week of the preseason doesn’t mean much to a lot of the starters and it is usually reserved for backups looking to make the final roster. It’s highly doubtful that the starters get some playing time if any, but there is still a lot to be learned in the last week of the preseason game.
At the quarterback position, the Colts are going to try and find out how far former Mr. Irrelevant Chandler Harnish has come in three years. He has spent the last two years going back and forth on the practice squad, and this could be the year he finally makes the team. For the Bengals, they are going to be examining whether Tyler Wilson or Jason Campbell can replace Andy Dalton if they are called upon.
As for the running back position, the Bengals are going to be faced with a decision on whether they should release aging veteran BenJarvus Green-Ellis. With the Colts the first three running back positions are locked up, so it going to be up to Zurlon Tipton to prove he should be on the roster. I highly doubt the Colts are going to be willing to take on four running backs, but he may be a candidate for the practice squad going forward.
As for the wide receivers, the Colts have an interesting battle on their hands between Da’Rick Rogers and Griff Whalen. Rogers has been very quiet during camp and Whalen has shown he should stick around on the roster. On the Bengals’ side of the ball, look to see a battle between Cobi Hamilton and Brandon Tate for the fourth wide receiver position on the depth chart.
As for the offensive line, the Colts are going to have a decision to make. Are they going to allow guys like Jack Mewhort and Khaled Holmes to play and get the reps? Or are they going to rest them and hope they don’t play a rusty game against the Denver Broncos on opening night? The Bengals, on the other hand, are pretty set along the offensive line thanks to fourth-round pick Russell Bodine.
Along the defensive line, the Colts are looking to see who can be a good depth player at each position. So far Zach Kerr has impressed the coaching staff by playing well and could be in position to make the final roster. Bengals fans should see how well Margus Hunt is playing in his second year. A project player coming out, Hunt has to show signs of development soon.
The Colts are going to have a good problem on their hands at linebacker thanks to the stellar play of Henoc Muamba and Andy Studebaker. Both of those players should make the final roster, because if the Colts try and put either of them on the practice squad they will be signed by other teams. The Bengals are going to have to see how well Marquis Flowers plays, because he might be called upon during the season.
At the defensive back position, Bengals fans should probably expect to see first-round pick Darqueze Dennard play for some of the game. He is going to be asked to play some starting minutes at some point in the season, and he should hold his own in this game if he is going to live up to his first-round draft status. With the Colts the battle is going to be between Loucheiz Purifoy and Sheldon Price for a roster spot. Both are going to have to prove their worth to the team, and it is going to be up to the Colts to see who can make a impact on the 2014 roster.
The final preseason game is usually less watched since a lot of the starters don’t play, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t value to the game. Players are fighting for employment, and you never know when a backup could make an impact down the road.
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