Terence Newman misses second-straight practice

Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Bengals cornerback Terence Newman sat during Thursday's practice, the second consecutive session this week. His status against the Lions is foggy at best.

After sitting out on Wednesday, running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis and defensive tackle Devon Still returned Thursday as full participants, as did center Kyle Cook who was limited with a shoulder. In truth, Green-Ellis is no longer listed on the injury report because an illness, not an injury, forced him out on Wednesday.

Bengals cornerback Terence Newman remains out with an abdomen. Having missed two practices increases concern that he'll be unavailable when the Bengals play the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

With Calvin Johnson getting healthier, if Newman is unable to go, it could pose a serious problem. Quarterbacks have targeted Newman in coverage 39 times this year with the 35-year old allowing only 23 passes for 287 yards receiving with one touchdown (against the Bills last week) and an opposing quarterback rating of 79.8. So he's been rock solid this year. His absence would promote Adam Jones, who has had his struggles. Opposing quarterbacks have completed at least five passes of over 30 yards or more with Jones covering and an opposing quarterback rating of 105.1.

Ideally, this would demand sustained success for the defensive pass rush to supplement Newman's absence if the veteran cornerback is unable to play. However, the Lions are ranked second in the NFL with only nine quarterback sacks allowed; Riley Reiff is the only offensive lineman that's allowed more than one sack.

Interestingly, this will give Brandon Ghee and Dre Kirkpatrick the opportunities that they just haven't had this year, dealing with their own injuries and congestion on the depth chart above them. On the other hand, Chris Crocker appears to be a favorite as the fifth defensive back.

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