Despite growing concerns that his knee isn't where he'd like for it to be, Andrew Whitworth spent time this week assuring the media -- and by extension, the fans -- that his surgically repaired knee will be fine while vaguely saying that he'll be ready for the regular season opener in Chicago.
"It's frustrating anytime that you can't be healthy the moment you want to be. But that's life," Whitworth said Monday. "In the big scheme of things it's a small adversity, but it is an adversity. So we'll just continue doing what we do to get back on the field."
Anthony Collins is expected to start for Whitworth against the Colts, completing the preseason slate while Whitworth has spent much of the team's training camp and the preseason on the shelf.
The same goes for Andrew Smith, who tweaked his knee against the Dallas Cowboys last week. Unlike Whitworth, Smith appears ready to play and could go against the Colts if the team thought he needed it. It's believed that Cincinnati will probably sit Smith Thursday, giving Dennis Roland the start.
Currently undergoing concussion protocols, Dre Kirkpatrick and Brandon Ghee aren't expected to play. And considering that the preseason finale is usually reserved for backups and depth chart players looking to make the roster, this actually gives youngsters like Chris Lewis-Harris, Shaun Prater, and Onterio McCalebb a significant amount of work. The tenth spot at defensive back could be up for grabs.
Cornerback Adam Jones, linebacker James Harrison, and defensive ends Robert Geathers and Carlos Dunlap didn't play last week against the Cowboys, and it's not known if they'll play this Thursday against the Colts despite practicing this week. None of their injuries appear serious at this point (they've been extra careful with Dunlap) and even if they're unable to play, expect them to be ready for the regular season opener.
IR and PUP: Sean Porter and Brandon Joiner were placed on IR this week, while fullback Chris Pressley and quarterback Zac Robinson were transferred to the team's in-season PUP list. Bernard Scott remains on the active/PUP but I doubt it's related to anything other than moving him to the in-season PUP when the team needs to clear 22 spots on the roster for the 53-man maximum.