Bengals will be at "full strength" following the bye week

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati weathered the storm of mid-season injuries and now they're becoming healthy again just in time for their five-game regular season run to seal the AFC North.

During Monday's presser, Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis reiterated to reporters what he's been saying since Friday: He expects that the Bengals will be at full-strength after the bye week. Well, in relative terms. It's not like Geno Atkins or Taylor Mays are returning, nor Emmanuel Lamur (remember him?).

The two most prominent injuries right now are defensive tackle Devon Still and linebacker Rey Maualuga. Still has been out since week eight after suffering a dislocated elbow against the Detroit Lions. Maualuga suffered an MCL sprain against the New York Jets. Both have been out since and missed every practice, except for Friday when Maualuga was a limited participation.

Their eventual returns will help strengthen Cincinnati's depth as the team enters the five-game sprint towards the end of the regular season. Still figures as the team's best inside rusher (save for defensive ends and linebackers playing inside, of course) with Atkins out; Brandon Thompson has played well as a run stopper but he's not an every down player (at least not yet).

Maualuga complicates things at midde linebacker with Vincent Rey doing just as much if not more than anything Maualuga has done. OK, more. We're being nice here.

Cincinnati dealt with a couple of injuries against the Browns, but nothing serious. Mostly every player that left with an injury returned and of those that didn't, the game was firmly in Cincinnati's control, reducing the need to put them on the field for further risk (aka, Clint Boling).

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