The Bengals are slowly approaching the reality of not having Pro bowl linebacker Vontaze Burfict on Sunday. Dealing with a concussion suffered on Sunday vs. the Ravens, Burfict has yet to return to practice this week in preparation of the home opener vs. the Atlanta Falcons.
After sitting out Wednesday's practice, Burfict was once again absent during Thursday's session. If he misses, he probably won't suit up Sunday. As it stands, he needs to gain clearance before he can even get back on the field. Since he's not practicing, it's safe to say that clearance has not come yet.
If he misses Sunday, Vinnie Rey will start at weakside linebacker with Rey Maualuga manning the middle flanked by Emmanuel Lamur on the strong side.
It's also worth pointing out that Packers running back Eddie Lacy returned to practice Thursday while recovering from a concussion. Though concussions can vary in how long they force players to sit out for, it took Lacy a week to get back on the field after suffering his concussion vs. the Seahawks in their Thursday night matchup.