The Bengals got some good news Wednesday in their first pre-Bills practice.
Starting linebacker Rey Maualuga returned to practice in uniform, though not a helmet after failing to appear on the practice field last week. It does not look like he actually took part in practice, but, it’s encouraging that he’s at least in attendance.
Rey Maualuga back out at practice today in a jersey. No helmet tho so likely not participating.— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) November 16, 2016
Maualuga, now in his eighth season with the Bengals, missed last week while dealing with a fibula injury that was thought to be serious enough to potentially hold him out for more than one game. Seeing Maualuga do some side work is a good indication his return may come sooner than later.
Light walk thru, which explains move inside. Maualuga doing side work. #Bengals pic.twitter.com/ET842Vw4Eh— Jay Morrison (@JayMorrisonCMG) November 16, 2016
Without Maualuga, the Bengals’ defense struggled to stop the Giants’ formerly non-existent ground game Monday night, allowing two big runs in the fourth quarter that helped put the game on ice. New York finished with 122 rushing yards, one of their best outputs of the season after coming into Monday night with the league’s 31st ranked rushing offense.
Elsewhere, several Bengals who were banged-up during Monday’s loss were present for practice on Wednesday, including A.J. Green, Wallace Gilberry and George Iloka.
All 3 guys who got dinged Monday -- A.J., Gilberry, Iloka -- are working. #Bengals— Jay Morrison (@JayMorrisonCMG) November 16, 2016
During the second half of Monday’s game, Green clearly had some kind of leg injury as he was seen limping around the field and sideline on several occasions as it was clear something was wrong. He went in and out of the lineup beginning in the third quarter.
Hopefully, it was nothing more than cramps, which may be the case seeing that he’s already practicing on Wednesday.
Elsewhere, Wallace Gilberry suffered a calf injury in the third quarter of the loss. He was quickly called doubtful to return and never did re-appear. It’s never a good sign when a player gets that designation so quickly, especially with the Bengals so thin in this area.
Gilberry was just signed off the street last week, so it’s not very surprising he suffered an injury so quickly. The good news is it doesn’t look like it was serious since he’s already back practicing, too.
As for Iloka, he left the end of Monday’s game with some kind of leg injury on the final drive, but it looks like it was not serious.
Be sure to check back later for the full practice and participation report.