Cincinnati Bengals 53-man roster projection after second preseason game vs. WFT

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After the first roster cutdown day, the Cincinnati Bengals visited the Washington Football Team in the second week of the preseason.

The end result was 17-13 loss, but the bigger takeaway was the fallout from the positional battles across the roster — especially with the second of third cutdown days on the horizon.

Here’s a look at an updated 53-man roster projection as the team preps for the final preseason game.

QB Joe Burrow

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) stands by between passes during a training camp practice at the Paul Brown Stadium practice facility in downtown Cincinnati on Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021.
Cincinnati Bengals Training Camp

Don't expect to see Burrow this preseason, but he remains on pace to go for Week 1.

QB Brandon Allen

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Brandon Allen (8) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken)

Allen doesn't have any real competition for the backup job and continues to prove it with his preseason performances.

RB Joe Mixon

Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (28) catches a short pass during a training camp practice at the Paul Brown Stadium practice facility in downtown Cincinnati on Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021.
Cincinnati Bengals Training Camp

Bengals coaches expect Mixon to see the biggest workload of his career this season.

RB Samaje Perine

Dec 6, 2020; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins nose tackle Raekwon Davis (98) attempts to tackle Cincinnati Bengals running back Samaje Perine (34)during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Perine is a favorite of coaches and the primary backup, though the next guy could steal some snaps.

RB Chris Evans

Cincinnati Bengals running back Chris Evans (25) slips a tackle by Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker K.J. Britt (52) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken)

We're experimenting with three running backs here, mostly because Evans has looked so good and Travyveon Williams hasn't been able to stay healthy.

WR Ja'Marr Chase

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase (1) runs a route against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)

Slow start or not, we've seen Chase flash in the preseason.

WR Tyler Boyd

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd (83) catches a pass during training camp practice at the Paul Brown Stadium practice facility in downtown Cincinnati on Thursday, July 29, 2021.
Cincinnati Bengals Training Camp

Boyd should be set for a big year given the amount of weapons around him.

WR Tee Higgins

Cincinnati Bengals' Tee Higgins participates in a drill during an NFL football practice in Cincinnati, Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)

Higgins might end up as the No. 1 receiver given what we've seen from him so far this summer.

WR Trent Taylor

Cincinnati Bengals receiver Trent Taylor (11) walks back to the line between plays during a training camp practice at the Paul Brown Stadium training field in downtown Cincinnati on Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021.
Cincinnati Bengals Training Camp

Taylor gets a spot because of his versatility in the base offense and on special teams.

WR Auden Tate

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Auden Tate (19) catches a pass during a training camp practice at the Paul Brown Stadium practice facility in downtown Cincinnati on Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021.
Cincinnati Bengals Training Camp

Tate is almost another tight end and his big-play ability makes him a stellar backup.

WR Trenton Irwin

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Trenton Irwin (16) stiff arms Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Eli Apple (20) as he runs down the line during the first day of training camp practices at the Paul Brown Stadium practice facility in downtown Cincinnati on Wednesday, July 28, 2021.
Cincinnati Bengals Training Camp

Irwin has been impossible to miss during camp, so he gets a nod over other bubble guys.

OT Jonah Williams

Cincinnati Bengals offensive tackle Jonah Williams (73) warms up before an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Williams is healthy going into the season and looking to lock down the left tackle spot.

OT Riley Reiff

Cincinnati Bengals offensive tackle Riley Reiff (71) watches from the sideline between sessions during a training camp practice at the Paul Brown Stadium practice facility in downtown Cincinnati on Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021. Air temperatures reached the upper 90s Thursday, with "real feel" rising above 110 in the afternoon.
Cincinnati Bengals Training Camp

Reiff is the big-money addition from free agency tasked with fixing the right tackle spot.

OT D'Ante Smith

Cincinnati Bengals offensive tackle D'Ante Smith (70) during the second half of an NFL preseason football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)

Smith has made a quick ascension at guard and made the battle plenty interesting.

OT Fred Johnson

Cincinnati Bengals offensive tackle Fred Johnson (74) looks on during an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Emilee Chinn)

Johnson hasn't been overly healthy this summer, but he's still the backup swing tackle.

OG Jackson Carman

Cincinnati Bengals' Jackson Carman during an NFL football camp practice in Cincinnati, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)

Carman is taking longer than expected to develop, but he's got one more chance to prove he should be second string.

C Trey Hopkins

Sep 13, 2020; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) reacts with center Trey Hopkins (66) during warmups prior to a game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Hopkins is back faster than expected from his ACL tear and primed to get back to starting at center.

C Billy Price

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd (83) is congratulated by Cincinnati Bengals center Billy Price (53) after scoring a touchdown during the fourth quarter of a Week 8 NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020, at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati. The Cincinnati Bengals won 31-20.
Tennessee Titans At Cincinnati Bengals Nov 1

Price hasn't had the best summer, but versatility helps him stick around.

OG Michael Jordan

Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins (97) pushes off on guard Michael Jordan (60) during training camp at the Paul Brown Stadium practice field in downtown Cincinnati on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020.
Cincinnati Bengals Training Camp

Jordan was a shocker as first-string on the depth chart and he's shown some nice flashes in the preseason.

OG Xavier Su'a-Filo

Dec 21, 2020; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard (25) celebrates after a touchdown with tight end Drew Sample (89) and offensive guard Xavier Su'a-Filo (72) in the first half against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

Su'a-Filo, even if he doesn't start, makes the final roster as a backup.

OG Quinton Spain

Cincinnati Bengals offensive guard Quinton Spain (67) and guard Jackson Carman (79) walk between drills during the first day of Cincinnati Bengals OTAs at the Paul Brown Stadium practice field in downtown Cincinnati on Tuesday, May 25, 2021.
Cincinnati Bengals Ota

Spain might have the other guard spot locked down by now.

TE Drew Sample

Cincinnati Bengals tight end Drew Sample (89) runs with a catch during the first day of training camp practices at the Paul Brown Stadium practice facility in downtown Cincinnati on Wednesday, July 28, 2021.
Cincinnati Bengals Training Camp

Sample gets another chance to live up to his second-round billing in 2021.

TE C.J. Uzomah

Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (28), left, and tight end C.J. Uzomah (87) celebrate after Uzomah's catch during training camp on the practice fields outside of Paul Brown Stadium in Downtown Tuesday, August 17, 2021.
Aug17bengals9

Uzomah has had a strong camp after coming all the way back from his injury and is TE1.

TE Thaddeus Moss

Aug 14, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Cincinnati Bengals tight end Thaddeus Moss (81) runs with the ball against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Moss has the fun LSU/Burrow storyline and a very strong summer going for him.

DE Sam Hubbard

Cincinnati Bengals Sam Hubbard works out with the defense during training camp on the practice field outside of Paul Brown Stadium in Downtown Tuesday, August 3, 2021.
Aug3 Bengalscamp6

The freshly-extended Hubbard looks to take a bigger leap in 2021.

DE Cam Sample

Cincinnati Bengals tight end Drew Sample (89) runs with a catch during the first day of training camp practices at the Paul Brown Stadium practice facility in downtown Cincinnati on Wednesday, July 28, 2021.
Cincinnati Bengals Training Camp

The rookie Sample can kick inside to rush the passer, so he should get plenty of snaps.

DE Trey Hendrickson

Cincinnati Bengals' Trey Hendrickson runs a drill during an NFL football minicamp practice in Cincinnati, Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)

Hendrickson, another big-money add, looks to play all over the line while wreaking havoc next season.

DE Joseph Ossai

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) eludes Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Joseph Ossai (58) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)

Ossai had a massive breakout in Week 1 before getting hurt and will have a huge role.

DE Darius Hodge

Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Darius Hodge laughs during Bengals organized team activities on Tuesday, June 8, 2021, in downtown Cincinnati.
Bengals Ota 146

Hodge is an undrafted breakout to know who continues to improve.

DE Josh Tupou

Bengals defensive tackle Josh Tupou during training camp Friday, August 6, 2021 on the practice fields at Paul Brown Stadium. Tupou is back with the Bengals after opting out in 2020 because of the pandemic.
Bengalscampaug6 3

Tupou has had a superb summer after opting out last year and should start.

DT D.J. Reader

Sep 27, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Carl Lawson (58) celebrates his sack with nose tackle D.J. Reader (98) against the Philadelphia Eagles during the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Reader, back from his injury, needs to be the centerpiece of the defense.

DT Larry Ogunjobi

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) scrambles away from defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi (65) during a training camp practice at the Paul Brown Stadium practice facility in downtown Cincinnati on Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021.
Cincinnati Bengals Training Camp

Ogunjobi has been near-unstoppable in camp since returning from a slight injury.

DT Tyler Shelvin

Cincinnati Bengals' Tyler Shelvin participates in a drill during an NFL football practice in Cincinnati, Saturday, July 31, 2021. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)

The rookie Shelvin might not see a ton of snaps, but he's got big long-term potential.

DT Mike Daniels

Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Mike Daniels (76) tackles Los Angeles Chargers running back Justin Jackson (22) in the first quarter during a Week 1 NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati.
Los Angeles Chargers At Cincinnati Bengals Sept 13

It's hard to see a veteran leader like Daniels missing the roster, even if he's not technically a starter.

DL Khalid Kareem

Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Khalid Kareem (90) before an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston)

Kareem has to get over an injury, but there's no reason to throw in the towel on his big upside.

LB Akeem Davis-Gaither

Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Akeem Davis-Gaither (59) warms up before an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Don Wright)

The Bengals expect a big leap from the uber-athletic ADG in 2021.

LB Germaine Pratt

Dec 21, 2020; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bengals safety Vonn Bell (24) reacts with linebacker Germaine Pratt (57) during warmups prior to the game between the Cincinnati Bengals the Pittsburgh Steelers at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

Pratt is going to see a big share of the snaps and will need to keep pace next season.

LB Logan Wilson

Cincinnati Bengals' Logan Wilson participates in a drill during an NFL football practice in Cincinnati, Saturday, July 31, 2021. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)

Wilson has the communications headset now and is the leader for the unit.

LB Jordan Evans

Cincinnati Bengals outside linebacker Jordan Evans (50) wraps up Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew (15) for a sack in the fourth quarter of the NFL Week 4 game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Jacksonville Jaguars at Paul Brown Stadium in downtown Cincinnati on Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020. The Bengals collected their first win of the season, 33-25, from the Jaguars.
Jacksonville Jaguars At Cincinnati Bengals

Evans is a quality backup and ace on special teams now.

LB Markus Bailey

Aug 27, 2020; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bengals linebackers Markus Bailey(left)and Austin Calitro(47) knock down tight end Jordan Franks(88)during training camp at the teams practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

The former late-rounder is carving out a spot the hard way on special teams.

CB Darius Phillips

Jan 3, 2021; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back J.K. Dobbins (27) runs with the ball past Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Darius Phillips (23) and defensive end Amani Bledsoe (91) in the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

Phillips remains very dangerous on returns, provided he can stay healthy.

CB Chidobe Awuzie

Cincinnati Bengals' Ja'Marr Chase (1) makes a catch against Chidobe Awuzie in a drill during an NFL football practice in Cincinnati, Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)

Awuzie has been a breakout at camp, which isn't shocking given his raw potential as a starter.

CB Trae Waynes

Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Trae Waynes (26) brings down tight end C.J. O'Grady (82) on a pass during a training camp practice at the Paul Brown Stadium practice facility in downtown Cincinnati on Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021.
Cincinnati Bengals Training Camp

Waynes has looked good in camp too, though he'll need to live up to the gigantic contract after missing all of last season.

CB Mike Hilton

Aug 14, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Mike Hilton (21) warms up before a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Hilton is the do-it-all slot man who is a big upgrade after coming over in free agency.

CB Jalen Davis

Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Jalen Davis (35) breaks up a pass intended for Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Tyler Johnson during the second half of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken)

Davis has been an unexpected breakout in coverage, both during the preseason and in practice.

CB Eli Apple

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Trenton Irwin (16) stiff arms Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Eli Apple (20) as he runs down the line during the first day of training camp practices at the Paul Brown Stadium practice facility in downtown Cincinnati on Wednesday, July 28, 2021.
Cincinnati Bengals Training Camp

A former high-draftee, Apple is carving out a nice backup role for himself.

CB Ricardo Allen

Jul 29, 2021; Cincinnati, OH, United States; Cincinnati Bengals safety Ricardo Allen (37) catches a pass during training camp at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

Allen's versatility to play all over the place, with maybe some situational linebacker looks, keeps him in town.

S Vonn Bell

Bengals defensive back Vonn Bell forces a fumble on a first-quarter catch by Steelers receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster.
Juju

A heart of the locker room and quality starter, 2021 should be huge for Bell.

S Jessie Bates

Cincinnati Bengals free safety Jessie Bates (30) watches a replay on the board after the Ravens score a touchdown in the first quarter of the NFL Week 17 game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Baltimore Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium in downtown Cincinnati on Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021. The Ravens led 17-3 at half time.
Baltimore Ravens At Cincinnati Bengals

One of the league's best returns to prove he's worth a big-money extension.

S Brandon Wilson

Jul 28, 2021; Cincinnati, OH, United States; Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Mike Hilton runs drills against safety Brandon Wilson (40) during training camp at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

One of the league's most dangerous kick returners doubles as a quality backup.

P Kevin Huber

Aug 11, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals punter Kevin Huber (10) holds the ball as kicker Jake Elliott (3) kicks a field goal against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

No need to mix it up at punter thanks to Huber's efficiency.

K Evan McPherson

Cincinnati Bengals' Evan McPherson participates in a drill during an NFL football practice in Cincinnati, Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)

The rookie McPherson appears to be running away with the job.

LS Clark Harris

Jan 28, 2018; Orlando, FL, USA; Cincinnati Bengals long snapper Clark Harris (46) holds his cell phone on the sidelines in the second half in the 2018 NFL Pro Bowl at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Old reliable returns again and gets a spot.

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