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NFL Week 16 Bengals vs Texans: Eifert, Burfict non-participants; Green still limited

The Bengals’ injury report featured more bad news than good on Wednesday.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at New York Giants Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals hit the field on Wednesday to prepare for their matchup with the Houston Texans on Christmas Eve. But, many players were not participating. That’s more concerning than it would be on a normal Wednesday because today’s practice was the only padded practice of the week due to the game being played on Saturday and the team leaving for Houston on Friday.

Both the Bengals and Texans had a huge number of players listed on the injury report, though, most of the Texans players on the report were full participants.

Non-participants for the Bengals included starters Clint Boling (shoulder), Tyler Eifert (back), Jeremy Hill (knee) and Vontaze Burfict (concussion/knee). Alex Erickson was also not at practice, though it wasn’t injury related. And, Tyler Kroft was a non-participant with a knee/ankle injury. It’s unclear when that injury occurred and how serious it is.

It’s pretty concerning to see Eifert on the injury report with a back injury. A back injury is what delayed his return to the field following his ankle injury from January’s Pro Bowl. In short, you never want to see Eifert on the injury report. But, he did finish Sunday’s game against the Steelers so we’ll see how the Bengals list him throughout the week.

Boling has gotten limited days and off days on a weekly basis since injuring his shoulder in Week 4 against the Dolphins. He should be fine for the Texans game.

Burfict left Sunday’s game with a head injury, but returned in the second half after clearing concussion testing. But, early this week, he let the Bengals know that he was experiencing symptoms and he does in fact have a concussion. That’s bad news and I don’t expect Burfict to play on Saturday in Houston.

Hill left Sunday’s game with a knee injury, but also returned. He didn’t practice today and could be limited in his ability to play on Saturday. If he is limited, expect Rex Burkhead to play more, which he deserves anyway after outperforming Hill last week.

Limited on Wednesday were Wallace Gilberry (calf), A.J. Green (hamstring), Michael Johnson (shoulder), Vincent Rey (hamstring), Pat Sims (hip) and James Wright (knee). It’s not encouraging to see Green still limited. He’ll likely need to get in a full practice before playing in a game. It would be great to see Green back on the field, but only if he’s truly ready to return. The hope was Green would return this week, but I wouldn’t bank on that after seeing him limited on Wednesday.

Gilberry has missed the past few weeks with a calf injury and it looks like he’s inching closer to returning. Rey left Sunday’s game with the hamstring injury he’s still battling, but, he did return to the game. If Burfict is out on Saturday, Rey would likely be called upon to step up, assuming he’s healthy enough to play. If not, rookie Nick Vigil will see an increased workload. Sims’ hip injury is also news. It’s unclear how serious that is, so we’ll need to continue to monitor the report the next two days. And, Wright was also limited after returning to the lineup against the Steelers following a few missed games. He’s likely just getting rest on his knee, which is what kept him out for the past few weeks.

For the Texans, running back Lamar Miller was the only non-participant. He’s battling an ankle injury but expects to play on Saturday. A bunch of other Texans were limited, including former Bengals cornerback Johnathan Joseph, who has missed the last two games with an injury to his ribs. He’s been a thorn in the Bengals’ side since leaving Cincinnati for Houston, where he’s still a starter. It’s unclear if he’ll play against his former team this weekend.

Bengals vs Texans Injury Report

G Clint Boling Shoulder DNP
LB Vontaze Burfict Knee/Concussion DNP
TE Tyler Eifert Back DNP
WR Alex Erickson NIR DNP
DE Wallace Gilberry Calf LP
WR A.J. Green Hamstring LP
RB Jeremy Hill Knee DNP
DE Michael Johnson Shoulder LP
TE Tyler Kroft Knee/Ankle DNP
LB Vincent Rey Hamstring LP
DT Pat Sims Hip LP
WR James Wright Knee LP
RB Lamar Miller Ankle DNP
DE Jadeveon Clowney Elbow/Wrist LP
ILB Brian Cushing Ankle LP
CB Jonathan Joseph Ribs LP
OLB Whitney Mercilus Back LP
K Nick Novak Oblique/Back LP
OLB John Simon Chest LP
G Jeff Allen Concussion FP
T Chris Clark Ankle FP
TE C.J. Fiedorwicz Concussion FP
TE Ryan Griffin Hamstring FP
CB Kareem Jackson Hamstring FP
S Don Jones Illness FP
ILB Benadrick McKinney Wrist FP
ILB Brian Peters Quadricep FP
G Xavier Su'a-Filo Finger FP

DNP - Did Not Participate

LP - Limited Participation

FP - Full Participation

Game Status:

Out = Player will not play

Doubtful = 25% chance a player will play

Questionable = 50% or greater chance a player will play

(-) = Not Listed - No game status available