CINCINNATI -- One of the few NFL teams who held a Christmas Day practice, the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday got a pair of key players back into the fold after they missed Wednesday's workout.
Quarterback Andy Dalton returned after being sent home early the day before because of the flu. He was one of four Bengals to be declared ill on Wednesday's injury report. On the report provided Thursday, another two were listed with illnesses as the flu bug continues to work its way through the locker room.
Along with Dalton's presence at the closed session, receiver A.J. Green also participated for the first time since bruising his right biceps in the first quarter of Monday night's win over the Denver Broncos. Initially he felt nerve pain in his hand and was scared he had broken his arm. X-rays came back negative, and doctors only observed an injury to his muscle. The Bengals are hopeful the Pro Bowl wideout will be healthy enough for Sunday night's regular season finale at Pittsburgh. The winner of the game will claim this season's AFC North title.
Unlike Dalton, who was a full participant Thursday, Green was limited. Linebacker Emmanuel Lamur, receiver James Wright and defensive end Wallace Gilberry, who also didn't practice Wednesday due to a hamstring injury, were all also limited on Thursday. Lamur and Wright were practicing for the second straight day. Lamur missed Monday night's game with a hamstring issue, and Wright has been out since Week 14 dealing with a knee injury.
Here is the full Christmas injury report:
DID NOT PRACTICE
LB Chris Carter (knee)
CB Chris Lewis-Harris (illness)
S Reggie Nelson (illness)
CB Terence Newman (illness)
K Mike Nugent (illness)
OT Andrew Whitworth (veteran's day off)
LIMITED PRACTICE PARTICIPATION
DE Wallace Gilberry (hamstring)
WR A.J. Green (biceps)
LB Emmanuel Lamur (hamstring)
WR James Wright (knee)
FULL PRACTICE PARTICIPATION
QB Andy Dalton (illness)
TE Jermaine Gresham (illness)
CB Darqueze Dennard (shin)