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In bidding farewell to rough day, Bengals could soon say hello to Leon Hall

Resigning Leon Hall may be an option for the Bengals if William Jackson III is lost for the season. David Kohl/AP Photo

CINCINNATI -- With their fifth training camp session now in the books, the Cincinnati Bengals are ready to say goodbye to this incredibly turbulent Tuesday.

But even in goodbye, there could be a hello.

More on that below.

For now, just know that two big events highlighted a rough day the Bengals would rather not replicate anytime soon.

Early Tuesday afternoon, news broke that first-round pick William Jackson III could miss all of his rookie year after tearing a pectoral muscle late in Monday's practice inside Paul Brown Stadium. Before the team officially says if his season is jeopardized, it wants to reevaluate the injury just to be sure it's as bad as they currently think it is.

"We'll let the medical people confer and decide what they want and then make a decision," coach Marvin Lewis said.

Along with the news on Jackson, the Bengals bore witness during Tuesday's practice to an injury they hope isn't as bad as it looked. Late in the workout, second-year tight end Tyler Kroft was running into the end zone at the end of a goal-line drill when he inexplicably ended up on the ground. After a touchdown pass was caught by undrafted rookie receiver Alex Erickson, Kroft was seen with his helmet buried into the ground as he rested on his knees. Seconds later, he rolled over onto his back as doctors spent several moments looking at his left knee.

Kroft made it to his feet after the on-field evaluation and took a couple of steps to a nearby cart before riding it back into the stadium for more observation.

Lewis had nothing to add about Kroft's injury when asked.

Depending upon the severity of Kroft's injury, the Bengals' offense could be hampered for some amount of time. Kroft was already being called upon to replace Tyler Eifert, the star tight end who injured his left ankle in the Pro Bowl. No definitive timetable has come out on Eifert's return, but the Bengals are hopeful he won't miss much time at the very start of the regular season. Without Eifert or Kroft, the Bengals would be down at tight end to C.J. Uzomah, and Ryan Hewitt, the H-back who signed a three-year contract extension Tuesday morning.

Now for the hello.

If the Bengals are confronted with the long-term prognosis on Jackson that many are anticipating, that could lead to a re-signing of Leon Hall. The veteran corner was allowed to hit free agency this year after drawing $9.6 million against the cap last season. He remains unsigned.

"We've been in contact with players all the time," Lewis said, adding the door is open for Hall's return. "We'll decide on what the best options are based on the projections on where Will is."

Here are other observations from Cincinnati's latest practice:

  • Tuesday's camp session was all about situational drills for the Bengals, as they ran through third-and-short, fourth-and-short, goal-line, red-zone and onside-kick scenarios. In one of the goal-line drills, running back Jeremy Hill went airborne, diving into the end zone from about two yards out. Hill was being stretched out late in the practice, and didn't participate in the final exercise or two.

  • In a departure from the norm, the Bengals began their practice in an up-tempo full-team drill that was devoted to working the screen game. Through the first four days, they were easing into team drills by going through a couple of periods of position drills first.

  • Players who missed practice included Jackson, corner Darqueze Dennard (ankle), defensive tackle Domata Peko (vet day off), linebacker Trevor Roach (hamstring), receiver Jake Kumerow (hamstring) and tight end Matt Lengel (unknown).

  • Just in time, the Bengals are off Wednesday.