Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Eight injured Bengals miss practice
By Coley Harvey
CINCINNATI -- The Cincinnati Bengals were without eight players Tuesday afternoon as they held their first practice ahead of Sunday's regular-season finale against the Baltimore Ravens.
The group was headlined by linebacker Vontaze Burfict, who continues to miss time after being placed this week under concussion protocol. He suffered a head injury late in the 42-14 blowout win against the Vikings in Week 15. On Monday, Bengals officials confirmed that he was one of three players who had been placed under the protocol this week. Tight end Alex Smith and practice squad cornerback Onterio McCalebb also were being evaluated for head injuries.
Like Burfict, Smith missed Tuesday's practice.
They were joined by offensive tackle Andre Smith, linebacker Vincent Rey, cornerbacks Terence Newman and Dre Kirkpatrick, and tight ends Jermaine Gresham and Tyler Eifert. Newman has missed the past two games because of a knee injury that came three weeks ago. It's possible he would miss this game, as well, in order to get completely back to full strength entering the postseason.
Eifert was diagnosed during Sunday's game with having suffered a stinger. Andre Smith also left the game with a sprained ankle. It's unclear as of now how the other players were hurt. It's likely the high rate of absences resulted from the fact that practice was a day earlier than normal. There is a chance many of those who missed Tuesday's session will be good to go later in the week. Linebacker James Harrison returned to practice Tuesday after being declared inactive Sunday because of a concussion he had the week before.
Because the Bengals were practicing on a day they normally take off -- Wednesdays are typically the first days they practice each week -- no injury report was provided. An injury report will be released to media late Wednesday, outlining just what caused each player to miss practice time.
Cincinnati spent Tuesday working out inside Paul Brown Stadium in an effort to get work in before Christmas. In deference to the holiday, they will be taking Wednesday completely off.