As per earlier reports, Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict "tweaked" his ankle during practice on Friday, forcing the team to list him as questionable against the San Diego Chargers on Sunday. When the team boarded the plan Friday afternoon, his right ankle was encased with a protective boot, per Joe Danneman with Fox 19.
Vontaze Burfict wearing protective boot on right ankle as Bengals board bus for airport.— Joe Danneman (@FOX19Joe) November 29, 2013
As alarming as that could sound, a protective boot is generally used to protect and stabilize what's being described as a sprain. Often it can be used as a protective measure. However, if the sprain is serious enough, Burfict could miss significant time. You wouldn't be wrong with the expectation that Burfict will be a game-time decision as the team sees how treatment and rest improve his ankle by kickoff on Sunday.
If he's unable to go, the Bengals will slide Vinny Rey to weakside backer while Rey Maualuga resumes his duties at middle linebacker after missing the past three games with an MCL sprain.