Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Bengals' Giovani Bernard back at practice
By Coley Harvey
CINCINNATI -- If you're a Cincinnati Bengals fan and you enjoyed watching Giovani Bernard's zig-zagging, tackle-breaking 35-yard touchdown run at Miami last week, good news. There is a chance you could see another one this weekend when the Bengals visit Baltimore.
Eight days after leaving in the fourth quarter of Cincinnati's 22-20 overtime loss to the Dolphins with a rib injury, Bernard returned to practice Wednesday, a clear indication the rookie running back will be in uniform for this Sunday's division clash with the Ravens.
Wednesday's workout was the Bengals' first full session since the midweek loss. It came after a walkthrough and meetings on Monday, and a league-mandated day off Tuesday. Bernard was listed as having participated in a limited capacity. During his news conference Friday, coach Marvin Lewis said he believed Bernard would be healthy enough to compete this weekend. The injury scare, it seems, has subsided.
Along with Bernard's presence, the Bengals also were graced with a practice appearance from linebacker Michael Boley, who was inactive last week due to a hamstring injury. He was listed as having had limited practice participation.
While Boley and Bernard went through the practice, the Bengals were without veteran offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth and defensive tackle Devon Still and linebacker Rey Maualuga. Whitworth was out all last week with a knee injury, but was listed on Wednesday's injury report as out dealing with a non-injury related issue. He likely will miss each Wednesday practice from here on, as the Bengals try to give the eight-year veteran at least one practice off each week. He was outside with the team Wednesday observing drills during the rainy open practice period.
Still is in his third week trying to recover from an elbow injury first sustained in the 27-24 Week 7 win at Detroit. As much as he wants to play this week, he isn't banking on it happening.
"I think I need more time than just Sunday," he said. "I'm not trying to hold myself back from coming back too soon. I trust the advice that the people give me in the training room. When they say I'm ready to come back out there and play, then I'm going to come back out there and play. Right now, I'm just trying to focus on whatever I can to get my arm back to 100 percent."
Maualuga, who was hurt two games ago against the New York Jets, has been simultaneously fighting through a knee and head injury. The crutches he sported in the locker room last week have been ditched. Still, he has been expected to miss another two to three weeks with his MCL sprain.
Here's the Bengals' full injury report for Wednesday:
DID NOT PRACTICE
LB Rey Maualuga (knee/concussion)
OT Andrew Whitworth (non-injury related)
DT Devon Still (elbow)
LIMITED PRACTICE PARTICIPATION
RB Giovani Bernard (ribs)
LB Michael Boley (hamstring)
OG Kevin Zeitler (hamstring)
TE Jermaine Gresham (groin)