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Wednesday, January 1, 2014
A.J. Green among Bengals out Wednesday

By Coley Harvey

CINCINNATI -- Pro Bowl receiver A.J. Green headlined a lengthy list of players who missed the Cincinnati Bengals' practice Wednesday, as preparations for Sunday's AFC wild-card game against San Diego officially began.

The wideout suffered a knee injury in last week's regular-season finale against Baltimore. He also was one of six offensive starters who missed Wednesday's workout, and one of eight total players who didn't go through the first practice of the week.

Along with Green, offensive linemen Anthony Collins, Andre Smith, Andrew Whitworth and Kyle Cook didn't practice. Neither did tight end Tyler Eifert, cornerback Terence Newman and defensive end Wallace Gilberry.

There isn't a prognosis for how long any of the players will be out of practice, or if any will miss Sunday's game. The outlook appears strong, however, for most of them. The major question marks revolve around Eifert (still recovering from a neck issue caused by a stinger), Gilberry (suffered a concussion last weekend), and Newman (trying to rebound from a knee injury that kept him out nearly all of December).

Newman told reporters Wednesday that whenever he does return from the MCL sprain that kept him sidelined since Week 15, he'll feel "refreshed." He also felt optimistic that he wouldn't show any signs of rust when he returned.

"I played what, three months, was off three weeks?" Newman said, speaking to reporters for the first time since he suffered the injury at the end of the Week 14 game against the Indianapolis Colts. "I'll be all right. Not to mention the 11 years I have under my belt."

The veteran cornerback has been replaced the past three weeks by second-year player Dre Kirkpatrick, who had two interceptions in relief last week. He returned one of them 21 yards for a game-icing touchdown.

Cook's injury could be somewhat concerning. He left in the first half of last week's game with a foot injury that forced him into a boot and on crutches Monday. He declined to speak with reporters that day, but on Wednesday, he was walking around the locker room under his own power.

Along with the aforementioned group, linebacker Vincent Rey and tight end Jermaine Gresham practiced in a limited capacity. Gresham and Eifert were among the Bengals' inactive players last weekend.

Here's the full Wednesday injury report:

Did Not Practice
OT Anthony Collins (ankle)
C Kyle Cook (foot)
TE Tyler Eifert (neck)
DE Wallace Gilberry (concussion)
WR A.J. Green (knee)
CB Terence Newman (knee)
OT Andre Smith (ankle)
OL Andrew Whitworth (ankle)

Limited Practice Participation
TE Jermaine Gresham (hamstring)
LB Vincent Rey (ankle)