Friday, December 6, 2013
One questionable for Bengals this weekend
By Coley Harvey
CINCINNATI -- When the Cincinnati Bengals submitted their injury report Friday afternoon, they turned in their cleanest pregame list in six weeks.
As we've been reporting all week, only one player appears in jeopardy of not being able to play Sunday when the Bengals host the Indianapolis Colts in a key conference contest that could determine playoff seeding.
Offensive guard Kevin Zeitler, who has been trying to return the past three weeks from a foot injury suffered at Baltimore, was the only player given a playing prognosis that was worse than probable. Zeitler was listed as questionable. He practiced in a limited capacity Friday. It was the second straight day this week he was limited in workouts after being held strictly to conditioning exercises Wednesday.
After Friday's walkthrough, which was held inside the University of Cincinnati's football practice bubble because of freezing rain and snow that moved through the area, coach Marvin Lewis insisted Zeitler was "fine." He didn't give any indication as to whether the lineman might play this week.
The Bengals may not need him. Even though Cincinnati also lost left guard Clint Boling to a season-ending ACL injury last week and is now down two starting guards, the Bengals have done enough lineup shifting in the past few days to make up for the possibility of playing without both. When Boling was sidelined with his first-quarter injury, the Bengals last week moved left tackle Andrew Whitworth over to his spot and kept backup Mike Pollak at Zeitler's right guard spot. Whitworth and Pollak filled in admirably, helping Cincinnati turn in one of its best rushing outings of the season.
Odds are favorable that if Zeitler has to be shelved for a third straight game, the Bengals will feature that offensive line setup again. With Whitworth playing inside, backup tackle Anthony Collins would come off the bench again and play left tackle.
In addition to Zeitler's questionable listing, the Bengals also officially placed Boling as "Out" on the injury report. He was placed on injured reserve earlier this week. Seven other players also appear on there, but each have probable listings.