After the Bengals' Monday night debacle vs the Buccaneers, they needed some good news in the worst way, and they got plenty of it Wednesday.
That's because several key players dealing with injuries were able to practice, the biggest of which being starting right tackle Andre Smith. It was revealed earlier that Smith is dealing with a foot issue, but it didn't keep him from practicing Wednesday in preparation for Saturday's dress rehearsal game vs the Bears.
Also returning to practice was rookie tackle Jake Fisher. A shoulder injury has cost Fisher much of the past three weeks, including both preseason games. It looks like his NFL debut could come Saturday as he looks to earn the backup left tackle spot behind Andrew Whitworth.
Cornerback Darqueze Dennard was also able to practice Wednesday after missing all of last week with a groin injury. Dennard initially suffered the injury in a practice leading up to the Giants game before injuring it further in that game. He's still in the running for the starting slot corner spot after Leon Hall's poor performance against the Bucs (-1.3 PFF grade).
Perhaps the best news of the day came with a player who didn't actually practice, but seeing Michael Johnson on the rehab field is a significant development. Since spraining his MCL early in camp, Johnson has yet to even appear on the rehab field as he's been kept off his feet for the most part. With just more than two weeks until the regular-season opener, it looks like Johnson has a shot at playing in Week 1.
The one Bengal who didn't practice today after playing last week was linebacker Emmanuel Lamur. He left Monday's game with a hamstring injury that had Cincinnati quick to rule him out for the rest of the game. It looks like there's a good chance he doesn't play this week.
Safety George Iloka also practiced after being knocked out of Monday's game with a knee injury.
Injured #Bengals mostly all back during stretching. Dennard, Ghee, Jake Fisher, Andre Smith, Pat Sims, Brandon Thompson, Trey Hopkins, Iloka— Coley Harvey (@ColeyHarvey) August 26, 2015
Michael Johnson is going through drills on the rehab fields for the first time in front of media. #Bengals— Coley Harvey (@ColeyHarvey) August 26, 2015
Emmanuel Lamur looks like the only one who won't be doing anything today. Healthiest #Bengals have appeared in a while.— Coley Harvey (@ColeyHarvey) August 26, 2015