When the official practice and injury report was released on Wednesday, it showed a Cincinnati Bengals squad entering a phase of relative health. Kevin Zietler (foot) appears unlikely to play against the San Diego Chargers and but there's no indication that Kevin Huber's sudden arrival on the injury report is serious enough to question participation this weekend. However, everyone else participated Wednesday -- NOTE: we say relative health because we're well aware that there are players on Injured Reserve, but we can only account for those on the current 53-man roster.
The San Diego Chargers had a more whose-who on their injury report, with a handful of starters noticeably sitting out during Wednesday's practice. Starting left tackle King Dunlap has suffered two concussions and a neck injury this year forcing him to miss San Diego's past two games. Dunlap missed Wednesday's practice and the Chargers are applying caution for his eventual return.
"We’re taking it day to day with King," McCoy said via ESPN.
For now, he's staying in game-shape by running during practice.
"I ran with Coach Kent [Johnston] today," Dunlap said. "I just go in there and work out with him by myself, which is pretty rough when you’re the only one. But I just get in there and get with him every day, and that’s what kind of keeps me going."
Rookie offensive tackle D.J. Fluker transitioned to left tackle and despite suffering a scary-looking injury during a PAT last week against the Chiefs, fully participated on Wednesday. He appears likely to play against the Bengals this Sunday.
San Diego's trio of running backs were one short on Wednesday, with Ryan Mathews resting a hamstring. But there isn't much concern about his participation on Sunday. Mathews is averaging 15 carries and 66 yards rushing with a 4.4 yard/rush average this season. Mathews is joined out of the backfield by Danny Woodhead, who is among the league leaders in receiving among all running backs this season, and Ronnie Brown who has 41 carries and 142 yards rushing this season.
Center Nick Hardwick suffered a stinger several weeks ago and missed Wednesday's practice with a "neck". Tight end Antonio Gates (hamstring), but he appears to be resting more than anything.
"Some of those guys are resting," McCoy said. "It’s that time of year. There are a number of guys that we’ve got to get as healthy as possible, and feeling as fresh as possible on Sunday. So there’s certain players that we will do that with for the rest of the year on a consistent basis."
Wide receiver Eddie Royal missed every practice leading up to the Chiefs game last Sunday with a toe, which forced him to miss Wednesday's practice as well. This isn't new. Royal has been dealing with toe and foot issues dating back to week seven, missing a majority of his practices since while being declared questionable in his last five games against the Jaguars, Redskins, Broncos, Dolphins and Chiefs respectively. He has been active in every game. However, prior to the Chargers game-winning drive against Kansas City, Royal was forced out with a chest injury and didn't return.
Eric Williams with ESPN writes that he "should be" fine for this weekend.
Backup safety Darrell Stuckey also missed practice after sustaining a concussion last week against the Chargers. Stuckey, who missed several games last season with a concussion, is the Chargers special teams captain.