Eight Bengals miss practice after physical stretch of road games

CINCINNATI -- After a physical stretch of three road games in as many weeks, the Cincinnati Bengals were without eight players when they practiced again Wednesday.

Another two, including Pro Bowl receiver A.J. Green, were limited.

Cornerback and punt returner Adam Jones was among the missing, sidelined after being placed under concussion protocol following a pair of hard hits he took as a returner Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Head injuries rarely consistent as far as a standard recovery time, so there's no telling just yet how long he could be out, or if he'll be able to play this weekend when the Bengals host the Pittsburgh Steelers.

One player who it doesn't appear will be playing this week is linebacker Vontaze Burfict. The third-year defender has already missed the past five games because of a simple arthroscopic knee surgery he had to clear particles from the inside of his left knee. Typically, an athlete can get back to competition within three weeks of having that type of surgery. He's now going on Week 6 of not participating.

Burfict had been going through low-intensity agility and conditioning drills at practice the past two weeks, but he wasn't out there Wednesday. He also tried to work through a ladder drill before Sunday's game at Raymond James Stadium, but didn't look comfortable. He also didn't look like someone able-bodied enough to play a 60-minute game this weekend.

Along with Jones and Burfict, the Bengals were without rookie H-back Ryan Hewitt, who had an illness. He's the seventh player in the last week to have fallen ill with a bug that has hopped around the locker room. Quarterback Andy Dalton had it Saturday night into Sunday, and offensive guard Kevin Zeitler had it Tuesday and Wednesday. Zeitler, who said he could barely move Tuesday because of how hard the illness hit him, practiced Wednesday.

"It's Pittsburgh week," he said, raspy voiced.

Defensive tackle Domata Peko didn't practice, but he still seems optimistic about playing later in the week. Swelling and soreness are the only real issues his hurt left elbow seem to be experiencing now. Peko said he was hurt on the second play of Sunday's game, although he ended up taking 13 snaps, according to Pro Football Focus.

As the week progresses, it will be interesting to track the progress of Green and fellow receiver James Wright. Both could be critical to the Bengals' passing plans as they welcome in a team that ranks 16th in passing defense.

Here's the Bengals' full Wednesday injury report:


LB Jayson DiManche (forearm -- on injured reserve)


CB Adam Jones (concussion)

LB Vontaze Burfict (knee)

DE Robert Geathers (hip)

DE Margus Hunt (ankle)

H-back Ryan Hewitt (illness)

OL Mike Pollak (knee)

DT Domata Peko (elbow)

WR James Wright (knee)


WR A.J. Green (thigh)

OT Marshall Newhouse (hip)