The Bengals hit the field Thursday for their second pre-Steelers practice, and the biggest story was the return of Vontaze Burfict.
The star linebacker was out on the field for his first NFL practice since late in 2014 season. Offseason microfracture surgery kept him sidelined for most of the offseason and training camp before he opened the year on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. That made him ineligible to practice for the first six weeks, and he didn't come back during the team's bye week in Week 7 either. With Week 8 here, the Bengals now have until November 19, prior to the Week 11 matchup with the Cardinals in Arizona to activate Burfict to the 53-man roster or leave him on PUP and end his season.
Here is a video of Burfict's return via Jay Morrison:
Here's Burfict running thru a pack of media weirdos #Bengals pic.twitter.com/Vn2O75j95G— Jay Morrison (@JayMorrisonCMG) October 29, 2015
As for the rest of the Bengals, it was a good day with everyone on the 53-man roster suited up and practicing. Offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth was back after missing Wednesday with his typical veteran's rest day.
One player whose designation on the final injury report will be interesting is cornerback Leon Hall. A back injury kept him out of the team's Week 6 win in Buffalo, and Hall was still on the injury report Wednesday as a limited participant with that same injury. Ideally, he'll get at least one full practice in this week and be able to play close to 100-percent against a high-powered Steelers' offense this Sunday. The last thing Cincinnati needs against their AFC North foe is one of their best corners to be out or even limited.
Be sure to check back later for the full participation report, as well as the practice and participation report for the Steelers.