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Giovani Bernard, Andre Smith, Vontaze Burfict out Friday; Look doubtful vs. Saints

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The Bengals could be down their starting running back, right tackle, cornerback and weakside linebacker vs. the Saints.

Andy Lyons

Expect the Bengals to be down several key starters on both sides of the ball when the travel to New Orleans this weekend. As Friday practice began under a cold Cincinnati sky, running back Giovani Bernard was once again held out, as he's now missed nine consecutive practices following a hip and clavicle injury he suffered in Week 8. Gio was already expected to miss the Saints game, so this comes as no surprise, and he'll likely be declared "out" on the final injury report.

The same goes for linebacker Vontaze Burfict, who continues to recover from a knee scope that will have cost him three game once he's held out vs. New Orleans. The hope is both he and Bernard will be back in Week 12 vs. the Houston Texans.

As for right tackle Andre Smith, it's a little harder to determine what exactly is going on with his injured left ankle that forced him back into a walking boot Thursday after practicing Wednesday. He did not practice Friday, making it appear that he's doubtful to play vs. the Saints.

Also sitting out Friday was cornerback Terence Newman, who missed the entire week while dealing with a knee injury. He looks doubtful to play vs. the Saints. Thankfully, Leon Hall returns after missing last week with a concussion.