An onside kick during practice will likely cause the Cincinnati Bengals to be without their top kicker for the next two games.
Mike Nugent reportedly strained his right calf Wednesday while trying an onside kick. It's not believed to be serious, and might only be a tweak. But the schedule isn't helping Cincinnati. The Bengals play the Cowboys on Sunday, but then face a short week with a trip to the Eagles on Thursday night. Nugent should be available when the Bengals play the Steelers Dec. 23 in a game that could decide the final playoff team in the AFC.
Cincinnati signed veteran Josh Brown, who beat out Billy Cundiff and Neil Rackers in Thursday's tryout. Brown kicked the past four seasons for the Rams and was cut in August by the Jets after losing the preseason battle with Nick Folk.
Last season, Brown made 21 of 28 kicks (75 percent). The Bengals won't be able to rely on Brown for long kicks. He was 8 of 14 (57.1 percent) last season from beyond 40 yards. But Nugent wasn't much better this season, hitting 7 of 11 (63 percent) from beyond 40 yards.
To make room for Brown, the Bengals released center Jeff Faine. He had lost the starting job to rookie Trevor Robinson, and injured starter Kyle Cook (ankle) could return as soon as Sunday after his first full practice Wednesday.