CINCINNATI -- While there is still a month before Marvin Jones is expected to return to the Cincinnati Bengals' receiver rotation, he still showed signs of progress Wednesday as he begins a new phase of rehab for his surgically repaired left foot.
For the first time since hurting his foot in a training-camp practice three weeks ago, Jones was off crutches and out of the scooter he had been using to keep pressure off his foot. Each of those devices have been tossed away as he has started walking on his own power. He's still in a protective boot, but he can at least walk around normally without any other assistance.
As a result, the wideout felt compelled to catch passes off to the side Wednesday afternoon while his teammates went through their second workout ahead of Sunday's season opener at Baltimore. During the open portion of the workout Jones was seen playing catch with rookie quarterback A.J. McCarron, a young player who is going through his own rehab process due to a shoulder issue that placed him over the weekend on the non-football injury list. McCarron can't formally practice with the team until Week 6.
Jones has no limitations on when he can practice since the Bengals kept him on the 53-man roster and elected to simply make him inactive each week until he's fully healthy.
He should be back Week 5 when the Bengals go to New England.
This wasn't the first time Jones caught passes since the injury. He had other days during these past three weeks when he and trainers would take a chair out of the locker room, sit him down in it, and throw balls to him. It was all about maintaining his vision, continuing to get reps and keeping his hands ready for passes.
Along with Jones' progress, cornerback Darqueze Dennard has apparently improved, too. He participated in the shoulder-pads practice, following the hip injury he suffered on his first play in Cincinnati's Week 2 preseason game against the Jets. He was limited Wednesday. While it seems like he plays Sunday, Dennard was quick to point out that it's "not on me." He's leaving his potential for playing up to the trainers and head coach Marvin Lewis.
Tight end Tyler Eifert, who dealt with a nagging shoulder issue this spring and summer said his last couple of weeks of rest have paid off. He expects to play this weekend.
"I feel great right now," Eifert said.
Here's the full Wednesday injury report as provided by the Bengals:
LB Vontaze Burfict (hamstring)
TE Tyler Eifert (shoulder)
RB Cedric Peerman (hip)
OT Andre Smith (concussion)
CB Darqueze Dennard (hip)
Did Not Practice
LB Sean Porter (knee)
OL Mike Pollak (knee)
WR James Wright (concussion)
WR Marvin Jones (foot)
RB Rex Burkhead (knee)