Michael Johnson's return includes Wednesday trip to rehab fields

CINCINNATI -- Michael Johnson's return is slowly starting to come into focus for the Cincinnati Bengals.

While the team still isn't saying when the defensive end will be back from a knee injury he suffered three days into the start of training camp, the possibility Johnson dresses out for the Sept. 13 season opener still seems to exist.

For the first time since Johnson had his right leg rolled up on by a pile of teammates earlier this month, he went through conditioning drills on the rehab portion of the Bengals' practice fields Wednesday. It was during an open period of the workout that he participated in activities that tested the flexibility and strength of his knee. It was the first time he had been seen doing that kind of activity with media present.

Wednesday's practice is the only one the Bengals have this week, coming after they took Tuesday off following Monday night's 25-11 loss at Tampa Bay. They will hold a low-speed walkthrough Thursday and take Friday off, too, ahead of Saturday's preseason game against the Chicago Bears. Had Johnson been healthy, the Bengals would have ideally used him often in this weekend's game like they hope to do with other starters.

Johnson wasn't the only player to take a positive step from injury Wednesday. Nine others practiced after either missing Monday's game or a series of practices before it.

Although there's no way of knowing right now whether individual players were limited or in full participation or not, here's a list of those once-injured players who were at least dressed for practice, and those who weren't:

In uniform

CB Darqueze Dennard

CB Brandon Ghee

OT Jake Fisher

DT Brandon Thompson

DT Pat Sims

OT Andre Smith

S George Iloka (knee injury Monday night)

OG Trey Hopkins

RB Terrell Watson

Not in uniform

WR Tevin Reese

LB Emmanuel Lamur (hamstring injury Monday night)



LB Vontaze Burfict

LB Sean Porter

WR Onterio McCalebb

OT Cedric Ogbuehi