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Burfict, others still miss Bengals practice

CINCINNATI -- Linebacker Vontaze Burfict missed his second practice of the week as the Cincinnati Bengals returned to action Thursday afternoon. They were back after having taken Wednesday off in observance of the Christmas holiday.

The second-year player was listed as having not participated in the practice as he continues to recover from symptoms of a concussion. He also didn't participate in Tuesday's workout after originally suffering a head injury late in Sunday's blowout of the Minnesota Vikings. He was one of three players who were put under concussion protocol Monday morning, one week after another set of three went through post-concussion evaluations.

Along with Burfict, tight end Alex Smith and practice squad cornerback Onterio McCalebb were placed under the protocol. Unlike Burfict, Smith returned to practice Thursday.

It appeared Burfict was going to be limited Thursday when he was out in uniform and walking through some low-speed drills during the portion of practice that is open to media. He wasn't participating in most exercises, but he was still present. Typically, injured players in uniform are at least later listed as limited in that particular practice.

While Smith came back, question marks still remain at tight end, where both Tyler Eifert and Jermaine Gresham remained sidelined due to their respective neck and hamstring injuries. Gresham was limited through parts of Tuesday's practice, and downgraded to not having practiced at all Thursday. Eifert was forced from last Sunday's game due to a stinger that apparently still is giving him discomfort. If the Bengals were to play without he and Gresham, Alex Smith would be the primary option at the position, with H-back Orson Charles likely filling any secondary obligations. Before getting moved to the backfield this season, Charles played tight end.

Cornerback Terence Newman also missed Thursday's practice as he continues rehabbing from a knee injury he picked up in the Bengals' Week 14 win over the Colts. The MCL sprain was expected to keep him out one to three weeks. This is that third week. At this point, since he hasn't practiced since before he suffered the injury, it seems Newman likely will be held out until the Bengals' first playoff game. Cincinnati will either host a Wild Card round game next weekend, or have a bye before hosting a Divisional round game in two weeks. A Bengals win Sunday, combined with a Patriots loss to the Bills would give Cincinnati the AFC's No. 2 playoff seeding. The top two seeds have the first week of the postseason off.

Here is the full Thursday injury report, accompanied below by the Tuesday injury report which was released Wednesday morning:

Did Not Practice

TE Tyler Eifert (neck - stinger)

LB Vontaze Burfict (concussion)

CB Terence Newman (knee)

DT Devon Still (back)

TE Jermaine Gresham (hamstring)

Limited Practice Participation

TE Alex Smith (concussion)

CB Dre Kirkpatrick (ankle)

LB Vincent Rey (ankle)

OT Andre Smith (ankle)

Full Practice Participation

LB James Harrison (concussion)

Tuesday's injury report (released Wednesday):

Did Not Practice

LB Vontaze Burfict (concussion)

TE Tyler Eifert (neck - stinger)

CB Terence Newman (knee)

TE Alex Smith (concussion)

DT Devon Still (back)

Limited Practice Participation

TE Jermaine Gresham (hamstring)

CB Dre Kirkpatrick (ankle)

LB Vincent Rey (ankle)

OT Andre Smith (ankle)

Full Practice Participation

LB James Harrison (concussion)