CINCINNATI -- One day after a midweek concussion prevented him from practicing, Cincinnati Bengals offensive lineman Andrew Whitworth was back in the rotation at left guard Friday, improving the odds he ends up playing Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings.
When the Bengals released their injury report Friday, Whitworth was listed as questionable.
Whitworth was one of five Bengals who had that designation. Linebacker James Harrison, defensive end Carlos Dunlap, defensive tackle Devon Still and guard Kevin Zeitler were the others. Like Whitworth, Harrison and Dunlap spent part of the week getting over concussions they sustained in last Sunday's loss at Pittsburgh.
"Everybody's progressing," coach Marvin Lewis said. "That's one step. It's a lot better step than not."
If the Bengals are without Whitworth on Sunday in a game that bears playoff and division-title implications, it would be the third time the eight-year veteran missed a game this season.
Whitworth didn't play in the opener against Chicago and was unable to go on Halloween at Miami. Backup Anthony Collins, who has moved into the starting rotation at left tackle since Whitworth was moved from tackle to left guard during the Dec. 1 win at San Diego, filled in for him in those two games. He likely would stay at tackle, and right guard Zeitler -- who has been limited much of this week -- might be forced back into the starting rotation.
Zeitler has been out the past month nursing a foot injury. He's been active the last two games but hasn't played. His backup, Mike Pollak, has handled all the right guard duties. With Whitworth at left guard, the Bengals have had some of their best offensive performances of the second half of the season. Not only have they rushed for more than 150 yards as a team in two of the last three games, but quarterback Andy Dalton has been sacked only once in the last four games.
Cornerback Terence Newman, who still is battling through a knee injury, was listed as doubtful for Sunday's game.