NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 06: Nate Clements #22 of the Cincinnati Bengals reacts after recovering a fumble by the Tennessee Titans during play at LP Field on November 6, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. The Bengals won 24-17. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Nate Clements, whom the Bengals signed in the offseason to replace Johnathan Joseph, will not practice Friday. He missed practice Thursday due to a hamstring injury suffered against the Browns in Week 12. He returned to practice on Thursday, though he was limited, which was a good sign that he would be able to play on Sunday.
The fact that he is sitting out on practice on Friday is a bad sign and it's likely that his status would be questionable at best against the Steelers in Pittsburgh.
If Clements doesn't play, Adam Jones and Kelly Jennings would start at the starting cornerback positions and Brandon Ghee, who has only played in eight games through his career, would likely start as the nickel corner.
The Steelers have the No. 9 passing offense in the league and if Clements doesn't play, the Bengals secondary would have a lot to worry about. The pass rush would need to be in high gear to limit the damage that could be done by the Steelers' passing game.
Unfortunately for the Bengals, the team's best pass rushing lineman, Carlos Dunlap, joined Clements on the sidelines during practice. This is the sixth straight practice that Dunlap has missed and it's likely that he won't play in his second straight game. If that's the case, he will have missed three out of the last four games and both games against Pittsburgh thanks to a hamstring injury suffered against the Titans.
While it's likely doubtful that Dunlap plays, hopefully Clements is able to take the field. We'll know more about their statuses later tonight. Stay tuned for updates.