Nebraska Football: Cam Taylor-Britt already contending for Bengals starter

Cam Taylor-Britt of the Cincinnati Bengals is tackled by Cornell Armstrong of the Atlanta Falcons (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Cam Taylor-Britt of the Cincinnati Bengals is tackled by Cornell Armstrong of the Atlanta Falcons (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

Former Nebraska football star Cam Taylor-Britt is just over a third of the way through his rookie season, and he’s already raising quite a few eyebrows on the Cincinnati Bengals. The defensive back – who was a second-round pick in this past spring’s NFL Draft has gone from missing all of the preseason and the beginning of the regular season to potentially snatching a starting job away from someone who started in the Super Bowl just eight months ago.

The Bengals’ rookie came into the call being heralded as exactly someone who might be able to do this but ended up missing fall camp because of a core surgery. There were some worries that the ex-Nebraska football star might essentially have his first season in the NFL derailed because of that surgery. Turns out that wasn’t the case.

Two weeks ago, Taylor-Britt returned to the practice field, though the Bengals were keen to ease him back. In those first practices back from injury, the former Husker actually saw more action. as the scout team quarterback – mimicking Ravens’ QB Lamar Jackson – than on defense. The training wheels were officially taken off on Sunday.

At the start of the second half, Cincinnati Enquirer reporter Charlie Goldsmith noted that the rookie corner came into the game to replace veteran starter Eli Apple. Goldsmith also pointed out that rotating players wasn’t really something Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo does. However, Anarumo also went out of his way to sing the praises of Taylor-Britt when the former Nebraska football star returned to the field earlier this month.

Even the rookie seemed surprised that he was sent in to take over the starting spot from Apple in the second half. Following his first game – where he tallied three tackles – he told Bengals’ reporter Kelsey Conway that he knew he was going to play a few snaps, but not that many. Conway noted it appears the battle is officially on for the job.

It should be pointed out that if there is a position on the Bengals’ defense that is open for competition it would be the corner spot where Eli Apple is playing. While grades for this week’s games aren’t in yet, PFF gave Apple a 34 overall grade and 32.1 pass coverage grade for his game against Baltimore and just a 38.3 overall and 32.3 pass coverage grade last week against New Orleans.

The opportunity for the Nebraska football star certainly appears to be there.