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Bengals won't activate Vontaze Burfict, Cedric Ogbuehi during bye week

Don't expect to see Vontaze Burfict or Cedric Ogbuehi back practicing during the bye week.

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Cincinnati Bengals' 53-man roster is about as healthy as you can ask for, but one of their best players still isn't part of that group.

Linebacker Vontaze Burfict, along with first-round draft pick Cedric Ogbuehi, have been on the Physically Unable to Perform and Non-Football Injury lists since the start of training camp. Being on either of those injury lists requires players to miss the first six games of the regular season before being eligible to return, for Week 7. The Bengals have a Week 7 bye, meaning Week 8 will be the first opportunity for either Burfict or Ogbuehi to play. But, that doesn't mean we'll necessarily see either player hit the field in Pittsburgh.

Head coach Marvin Lewis said Wednesday that there are no plans to activate either Ogbuehi or Burfict next week during the team's bye week, according to Geoff Hobson.

After the Bengals play in their sixth game at Buffalo this Sunday, both Burfict and Ogbuehi would be eligible to practice starting next week under a roster exemption, if medically cleared. But, it sounds like Lewis isn't quite ready for them to come back yet.

After leading the team in tackles in 2012 and 2013, Burfict suffered a knee injury against the Ravens in Week 8 of the 2014 season. He later underwent arthroscopic surgery soon. When his knee wasn't responding to rehabilitation, he was placed on season-ending Injured Reserve on December 9, 2014. The Pro Bowl linebacker contemplated surgery at the end of the season to repair what wasn't fixed in October.

Lewis later confirmed that he went ahead with the procedure, which was revealed to be microfracture surgery. Since then, Burfict has been unable to do anything other than conditioning work on the rehab field. The original goal for Burfict was for him to play Week 1 of this season at Oakland, but the team felt best leaving him on PUP and allowing the injury to further heal.

As for Ogbuehi, this move was expected all along for the rookie offensive lineman out of Texas A&M. The Bengals spent the No. 21 pick in this year's NFL draft knowing they would likely keep him on the PUP list for much of his rookie season. Ogbuehi has been rehabbing from a torn ACL he suffered during Texas A&M's bowl game last season.

In case you need a recap on what all of this PUP stuff means, the PUP list prevents players from playing and practicing during the first six weeks of the season. Players also do not count against the 53-man roster when they get this designation. If the player isn't activated after the sixth week, the team has a three-week window to make a decision: remain on PUP for the rest of the season, release the player, or activate the player.

This was the scenario that played out with rookie quarterback AJ McCarron last season. He was eventually activated to the team's 53-man roster after opening the regular season on PUP, after the Bengals used as much of the waiting window as they could.

It's also worth noting that reserve linebacker Sean Porter is still on PUP, though Lewis didn't give an update on him Wednesday. A former fourth-round pick during the 2013 NFL draft, Porter suffered a season-ending torn labrum during training camp in his rookie season. A hamstring injury during the preseason finale kept him out through the first three games of the 2014 season. When he was finally active during Cincinnati's Week 5 game against the Patriots, Porter suffered a torn ACL on the opening kickoff that ended his season; he's still recovering from that injury.