Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Once-chilly Bengals 'sunny' on injury front
By Coley Harvey
CINCINNATI -- "Meteorologist" Marvin Lewis returned Wednesday afternoon, proudly reporting that the Cincinnati Bengals were mostly good on the injury front entering Sunday's game at San Diego.
After going through their share of injury-induced storms the last month and a half, the Bengals are about as healthy as they could be this late in the season.
Lewis took a moment during his weekly news conference to relate his team's latest injury concerns to the weather it ended up practicing in later in the day. He often makes weather comparisons in an effort to explain the Bengals' injuries.
"It's a little chilly outside, but it's partly sunny," Lewis said, smiling. "It's cold, but don't let the cold fool you. We are about as good as you would hope to be at this point in the year. We've got to feel blessed that, knock on wood, we're where we are at this point in the season."
Temperatures hovered around 30 degrees much of Wednesday afternoon. About 15 minutes into the Bengals' 1 p.m. practice, snow flurries covered the sun and began floating throughout Paul Brown Stadium. With high wind gusts, the scene was reminiscent of the sudden monsoon-like conditions that descended upon the stadium during the early October game that featured the Bengals and Patriots. As New England went through its crucial final drive of the game, heavy rains kicked up, making it difficult to see and throw.
When it came to the practice, offensive guard Kevin Zeitler, injured three weeks ago in the 20-17 overtime loss at Baltimore, and punter Kevin Huber were missing in action. According to the injury report, Huber has a left ankle injury. He kicks with his left foot.
After spending parts of the last two weeks in a boot, Zeitler appears to be making progress with a foot injury that kept him out of the 41-20 win over the Browns in Cincinnati's previous game two weeks ago. He's no longer sporting the boot.
Asked if Zeitler could be healthy for this weekend's game against the Chargers, Lewis simply replied: "We'll see."
In addition to the absences of Zeitler and Huber, the Bengals did have veteran outside linebacker James Harrison back on the practice fields. Harrison was sidelined during Monday's walkthrough. Fellow linebacker Rey Maualuga and defensive tackle Devon Still also were practicing in full capacity. It was Still's second practice this week, after working out Monday for the first time since dislocating his elbow in mid-October.
Here is the Bengals' full Wednesday injury report:
Did Not Practice
OG Kevin Zeitler (foot)
P Kevin Huber (left ankle)
Limited Practice Participation
LB Michael Boley (shoulder)
Full Practice Participation
CB Chris Crocker (hamstring)
LB Rey Maualuga (knee)
DT Devon Still (elbow)