Just like the previous three contests, the Cincinnati Bengals will likely again be down several starters in a preseason game. When Cincinnati hosts Indianapolis on Thursday night, most of the starters will either not play, or play in just one series. Most of them will be held out for precautionary reason, but injuries and ailments will hold some out.
For Tuesday's practice, Darqueze Dennard, Adam Jones, Rex Burkhead, Jermaine Gresham, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Trey Hopkins and AJ MCCarron were not practicing.
Vontaze Burfict was at practice, but only did individual work. Burfict missed much of the past week with a stomach virus, and then injured his hamstring against Arizona. Green-Ellis is believed to be dealing with the same virus.
Dennard sat out of practice last week after sustaining a hip injury against the New York Jets. It's been a rough preseason for Dennard since Marvin Lewis called him "the best rookie corner I've ever seen."
Lavelle Westbrooks, JK Schaffer, Tyler Wilson, Dane Sanzenbacher and Tyler Eifert returned to the field after missing Sunday's game vs. the Cardinals. Gresham and Eifert seem to be rotating practices and even games on and off as both are dealing with injuries. For Gresham, it's his back after offseason hernia surgery was performed on it. For Eifert, it's a shoulder issue that's believed to be just a sprain or bruise.
However, it wouldn't shock me if there's a partial tear in the rotator cuff that he'll be able to play through. The way he keeps getting days off is concerning, and suggests the team is managing the injury vs. letting it fully heal. Any kind of tear won't heal until a surgical procedure is done on it, though there are NFL players who play through partial tears every year.
That's pure speculation, though I too suffered a partial tear in my shoulder and made it through Army basic training. It's manageable.