Gresham misses another open OTA

CINCINNATI -- Jermaine Gresham missed another voluntary organized team activity Tuesday, marking the fourth consecutive practice the Cincinnati Bengals have been without the veteran tight end.

Coach Marvin Lewis said Gresham is dealing with an injury but should be fine by the start of training camp. Lewis declined to speak further about the extent of the injury and what happened but he said it was minor. He also said that tight end Tyler Eifert was dealing with a similar injury that forced him to sit out Tuesday's practice. Unlike Gresham, though, Eifert was on the field and in uniform during the workout.

"They're doing what they need to do. On the mend, trying to get healthy," Lewis said.

Eifert later said he had a shoulder issue that was unrelated to his neck injury that popped up at the end of last season. He had a stinger that kept him out of the regular-season finale.

Gresham hasn't physically attended either of two OTA sessions that have been open to media. Lewis said he's been nearby, though, working on getting back to full health.

"He's just not out here because he's not practicing," Lewis said. "He's doing what he has to do."

The Bengals make a strong push to hold on in the offseason to players who are injured. They like to hand the players over to trainer Nick Cosgray and rehab them at their own facilities, instead of watching the players go back to their hometowns and rehab there.

"Yeah, our guys are all here," Lewis said. "We prefer our guys to rehab in house. We prefer they spend the time. Nick has done an excellent job with our guys rehab-wise. We've seen the outcome be much better and quicker here than elsewhere. Our people have a vested interest in the outcome. The toughest part of rehab is the ups and downs of rehab, and the tough days. The people here have a better response and can do a better job of getting a player through a hard time and a rough day."

Gresham wasn't the only player not in attendance. Defensive tackle Devon Still was also missing from the voluntary workout. Offensive tackle Andre Smith, unsigned tight end Alex Smith, offensive guard Clint Boling, defensive tackle Geno Atkins, defensive back Danieal Manning and cornerback Leon Hall were all in attendance despite nursing their respective injuries. Alex Smith remains one of the Bengals' unsigned unrestricted free agents. He's still rehabbing from a wrist injury that came in the regular-season finale when Gresham and Eifert were both out.

The Bengals are expected to have their entire roster in place next week when they hold a mandatory minicamp for veterans and rookies. It remains to be seen if Gresham will attend it.