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Bengals RB Cedric Benson Returns to Practice Friday

The Bengals have bad timing. They picked the worst stretch of games in the season to lose guys like Leon Hall, A.J. Green (for a game and a half) and Carlos Dunlap (for three games). Now they're heading into their second matchup against the Steelers, this time in Pittsburgh, and again, their injury report is longer than the opposing team's.

One of the more worrisome names on the Bengals injury report this week has been Cedric Benson. He didn't practice on Wednesday or Thursday due to a foot injury suffered in the team's Week 12 victory over the Browns. Against a team like Pittsburgh, the Bengals would need a running back capable of carrying the ball between the tackles and even though Benson hasn't been incredible all year, the team's chances of winning on Sunday are increased if he plays.

While his status isn't necessarily set in stone, fans can breathe a little easier because Benson returned to practice on Friday. It appears that the coaching staff wasn't sitting Benson because he was still hurt as much as they were to make sure he didn't re-injure himself. Benson should be able to be the starting running back for the Bengals on Sunday in Pittsburgh.

Stay tuned to see who did miss practice for both the Bengals and Steelers today in tonight's practice/injury report.