Bengals without LB Emmanuel Lamur another practice

CINCINNATI -- As they face yet another tough tight end matchup, the Cincinnati Bengals may be without their top cover linebacker Monday night when they host the Denver Broncos.

That's because for the second straight day, Emmanuel Lamur missed practice, working instead Friday on the rehab portion of the practice field. The base strongside linebacker typically lines up with tight ends in certain passing situations. He's drawn his fair share of good ones this year, too.

After facing Rob Gronkowski, Delanie Walker and Jimmy Graham among others, Lamur would be expected this weekend to defend Julius Thomas, Denver's big red zone passing target.

If the hamstring injury Lamur suffered late in last Sunday's 30-0 win over Cleveland hasn't calmed by Monday night, then he'll likely be replaced by Taylor Mays, a safety who has been used as a linebacker in the past. There are other options available to the Bengals, too, including backups Marquis Flowers, Chris Carter and Nico Johnson, linebackers coach Matt Burke said.

Burke acknowledged that Mays has been in his meeting room all this week in the event Lamur can't go.

Before a season-ending Week 8 injury last season, Mays was beginning to emerge as a solid enough option at the nickel linebacker spot. He spent much of his time before the injury playing there with Lamur shelved from the preseason due to his own season-ending issue.

As far as the health of the linebacker positions are concerned, it's been a year to forget for Burke. Lamur's latest injury comes after he, Rey Maualuga, Vontaze Burfict and Jayson DiManche have all already missed games. Maualuga missed four, Burfict is on season-ending injured reserve after finishing just two games, and DiManche went on IR two weeks ago.

"That's just how it goes. We're cursed this year," Burke said. "We know that's part of sports, it's part of the game. If you deal with injuries, it's 'when.' So you always have to have those contingency plans. We're not changing what we do. Next man up. Those guys have been here. They're responsible for knowing what they're doing to play and it's time to go."

Along with Lamur, receiver James Wright, who has missed the last two games with a knee injury, also didn't practice Friday. Like Lamur, he got in work on the rehab and conditioning parts of the practice field. Fellow receiver A.J. Green, who was sick Thursday, returned to full practice participation.

Here's the full Friday injury report:


LB Emmanuel Lamur (hamstring)

WR James Wright (knee)

OT Andrew Whitworth (veteran's day off)

WR Brandon Tate (illness)


CB Dre Kirkpatrick (Achilles)

DE Carlos Dunlap (calf)


WR A.J. Green (illness)

TE Jermaine Gresham (toe)

DE Margus Hunt (ankle)

CB Terence Newman (ankle)

OL Mike Pollak (knee)