This team just can't seem to get all of its players on the field at the same time this year, can they? Recent reports by local media have said that defensive back Chris Crocker (hamstring), offensive guard Kevin Zeitler (foot) and Devon Still (elbow) all missed Friday's practice session. Since they missed every session this week, it appears unlikely that those three will be unavailable.
A bit of good news surfaced though, as middle linebacker Rey Maualuga returned to practice, though he was working out on the side in limited fashion. He still seems iffy at best for this Sunday and it's likely that the team will to bring him him back until after their bye next week. He sprained a knee ligament against the Jets three weeks ago and hasn't played since.
While the Bengals have been getting by without Still and Geno Atkins at the defensive tackle positions, Crocker and Zeitler will be tough to replace. Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com seems to think that Mike Pollak might be the replacement at right guard, from some indications that he has received from Marvin Lewis, however, if you listened to this week's Who-Dey Weekly Podcast with our guest Paul Dehner, Jr. of The Cincinnati Enquirer, you would have heard his differing opinion. Dehner said that he believes that we could see Andrew Whitworth kick inside to left guard, move Clint Boling to right guard and insert Anthony Collins at left tackle. It's really a matter of if they prefer to get their best five lineman on the field, or if they want to limit the amount of "switch-a-roos" on the line to just one position.
Crocker's seemingly impending absence likely means an increased role for Brandon Ghee and Dre Kirkpatrick. They haven't seen much time this year because of Crocker's solid play as a slot cover man, but they could get thrown into the fire this Sunday against the Browns. We will have the full injury report later.