CINCINNATI -- It still isn't official, but it appears a foregone conclusion at this point that Giovani Bernard and Vontaze Burfict will end up missing a third straight game for the Cincinnati Bengals after both missed practice Thursday afternoon.
Burfict hasn't worked out since before having arthroscopic knee surgery three weeks ago. Bernard hasn't practiced since hip and clavicle issues shelved him ahead of the Bengals' Week 8 game against the Jaguars.
Since neither has gone through a practice session, it stands to reason they won't end up playing Sunday when the Bengals visit the New Orleans Saints.
Typically, Bengals who are injured for extended periods of time go through a series of conditioning drills before making it back to the practice fields. Those conditioning sessions are held on the side of the practice fields, with head trainer Nick Cosgray watching. It depends upon the injury and the player, but it's common for most to be on the rehab field for a couple days before returning to practice.
Burfict still hasn't made it there since this injury. Bernard was there Thursday for a second straight day.
In addition to monitoring Burfict and Bernard, the Bengals also are keeping an eye on right offensive tackle Andre Smith this week after he had apparent setback with an ankle injury. The veteran practiced in a limited capacity Wednesday, but he didn't go at all Thursday. Earlier in the day, he was seen in his protective boot that he wore after hurting the ankle against Jacksonville two weeks ago.
Smith missed last week's game against the Browns because of the injury and was replaced by backup Marshall Newhouse. The veteran Newhouse, added during free agency in the offseason, had a disappointing game. He received a minus-5.6 pass-blocking grade from Pro Football Focus after allowing three quarterback hurries, a quarterback hit and a sack.
"He understands the challenges," offensive coordinator Hue Jackson said of Newhouse. "If he has to be out there, he has to go play. He has to play better than he did a week ago, but our whole offense has to play better than it did a week ago."
Here is the complete Thursday Bengals injury report:
DID NOT PRACTICE
RB Bernard (hip/clavicle)
LB Burfict (knee)
OT Smith (ankle)
OT Andrew Whitworth (veteran's day off)
CB Terence Newman (knee)
LIMITED PRACTICE PARTICIPATION
LB Rey Maualuga (hamstring)
RB Cedric Peerman (knee)
FULL PRACTICE PARTICIPATION
CB Leon Hall (concussion)
TE Jermaine Gresham (thigh)
S Taylor Mays (foot)
OL Mike Pollak (knee)