Ah, the preseason. Where games that ultimately mean nothing give a team headaches because of unnecessary injuries. The Cincinnati Bengals came out of their second contest of the preseason with the New York Jets with quite a few ailments. Surely, the Jets' desire to tackle ball-carriers low and gain a half-dozen personal foul penalties weren't to blame for those.
But, I digress.
As the Bengals suited up for practice on Thursday, their last before the preseason "dress rehearsal" against the Arizona Cardinals, a group of their own didn't dress. Perhaps the most notable was Vontaze Burfict, fresh off of a new contract extension, who seems to be dealing with a "stomach bug", per defensive coordinator Paul Guenther.
Also Out as prac begins: Burkhead, Pollak, Schaffer, Wilson, McCarron, King and Green-Ellis. Westbrooks/Dennard are in jerseys but no pads— Coley Harvey (@ColeyHarvey) August 21, 2014
We knew of Burkhead's injury, which was once seen as severe, but has since been downplayed by Marvin Lewis as a "sore knee". The quarterback position behind Andy Dalton has been a mess because of injury, but it looks like the team will have Jason Campbell back this weekend and Matt Scott should also be available. Don't expect McCarron to take the field, as the team is taking an odd strategy by sitting him and his sore shoulder extensively this preseason.
Some of the day's absences also could be veteran rest days as well--particularly for guys like Mike Pollak and BenJarvus Green-Ellis, but no official word on that. It's also important to note that Geno Atkins is a full-go once again, furthering the evidence that he might be seeing a little playing time against Arizona.