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Bengals Andrew Whitworth extremely doubtful for Chicago

Whitworth remains on the mend with his surgically repaired knee, but things appear to be looking up.

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Remember when we said just go ahead and count Andrew Whitworth as out until he's not.

Continue with that frame of thinking.

For the second time in as many weeks, the team's starting left tackle didn't practice with the team on Wednesday; instead he worked with rehab trainer Nick Cosgray on the side. However, he's remains optimistic that he'll return soon, though you might as well label him as extremely doubtful against the Chicago Bears.

"We’re really close," Whitworth said in the lockerroom before practice (via "We’ll just see how things play out. It’s really out of my hands at this point. Just got to continue doing what I do every day and keep working hard."

No more definites. Dates? Forgetaboutit.

Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis appears to be progressively optimistic.

"We’ll see how he does this week," Lewis said. "He’s been progressing to do more and more on the field and that’s what you are looking for both he and the medical people have a confidence about him that he is ready to go. We are getting closer and closer to that."

Look. We've seen these things happen before and the quotes that accompany them. Though no one is really saying what to expect in Chicago, the writing is clearly on the wall.

And that's alright.

Anthony Collins, who substituted for Whitworth all summer and the preseason, will get the start if Whitworth can't go. Marvin Lewis called him, "that big, big umbrella policy. That's what he is."