Middle Linebacker Vontaze Burfict On First-Team Defense During Sunday's Practice

CINCINNATI, OH - MAY 11: Vontaze Burfict #55 of the Cincinnati Bengals works out during a rookie minicamp at Paul Brown Stadium on May 11, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

As we pointed out earlier Sunday afternoon, Bengals middle linebacker Rey Maualuga is sitting out of practice with a knee sprain. Naturally that would mean backup middle linebacker Roddrick Muckelroy would replace him, being second on the depth chart and all.

Wrong.

According to observers at Sunday's practice, Vontaze Burfict is lining up with the first-team defense as the middle linebacker during 11-on-11 sessions. If true, that could mean that Burfict possibly jumped Muckelroy on the depth chart, securing a spot on the 53-man roster. Though it could be an exploratory action by the coaching staff following a solid performance against the Jets on Friday.

Jeromy Miles replaced Taylor Mays, who is sitting out of practice, though he participated during walkthroughs. Jamaal Anderson is also working with the first team defense at left defensive end in place of Carlos Dunlap.

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