The Bengals may be coming out of their bye week a little more banged up than expected.
With the team not set to play until Monday Night at New York, Cincinnati got an extra day of practice this week on Tuesday. But, several key veterans were not taking part.
Johnson and Wright doing work on rehab field. No sign of Maualuga. #Bengals— Jay Morrison (@JayMorrisonCMG) November 8, 2016
Starting defensive end Michael Johnson not being able to practice is a bit concerning, especially with how little the Bengals are getting from their defensive ends not named Carlos Dunlap.
Johnson has been part of the problem though. The 29-year-old lineman has just 1.5 sacks through eight games and is on pace to finish with just three, marking the fewest he’s had since 2010 (2.5).
Perhaps that also may help explain why the Bengals signed Wallace Gilberry this week off the free agent market.
Gilberry has his old number (95) and locker back. #Bengals pic.twitter.com/eBg9sU5JEp— Jay Morrison (@JayMorrisonCMG) November 8, 2016
If Johnson were to miss Monday’s clash with the Giants, or even be limited, it would be interesting to see who gets the starting nod between Will Clarke and Margus Hunt. Both have flashed as situational players this year, but neither has shown enough to feel comfortable about them starting.
As for Rey Maualuga, he needs all the practice he can get, but it seems he may also have some injury that’s hindering his play. He is rated among Pro Football Focus’ worst linebackers and should be benched if his poor play keeps up.
If Maualuga were to miss Week 10 due to an injury or benching, the Bengals would likely just divide up more snaps towards Vontaze Burfict, Vinny Rey and Karlos Dansby.
James Wright missing practice is more likely due to the Bengals managing his surgically-repaired knee. He’s been given days off throughout the season, and he was at least doing rehab work on Tuesday. The third-year receiver has done little as a receiver, but has made a solid impact on special teams.
Because this is not one of the three official practices for Week 10, there will not be a practice and participation report released until the next practice.