Cordell Volson wins starting left guard spot for Bengals

As the Bengals prepare to defend their unlikely AFC championship, a new arrival to the team will be starting at left guard. And he’s not a free-agent signing.

Fourth-round rookie Cordell Volson has won the job, over 2021 second-rounder Jackson Carman.

“He ascended the whole training camp period,” offensive coordinator Brian Callahan told the team’s official website, via USA Today. “He played well, practiced well. He continually got better. He showed the things we want to see from a starting guard for us. He’s tough, he’s physical, he’s dependable. . . . He’s earned that job.”

Volson’s ascension to the starting lineup means that four of the first-string offensive lineman will be players who weren’t with the team in 2021. Signed in free agency were new center Ted Karras, new right guard Alex Cappa, and new right tackle La’el Collins.

With the blocking be any better? Some would say, frankly, that it can’t be much worse. But the offense nevertheless thrived, thanks to the skills of quarterback Joe Burrow and a phenomenal group of receivers, led by Ja’Marr Chase.

For Volson, it’ll be baptism by blast furnace. He’ll debut in eight days, against the stout and talented defense of the Pittsburgh Steelers.