The Cincinnati Bengals held their first official regular-season practice on Wednesday. That means we’ll get a full injury and participation report later in the day.
For now, it looks like the Bengals are about as healthy as an NFL team can be heading into Week 1. There look to be only two or three players who will be ruled out of the game due to injury, the most obvious of which being wide receiver John Ross.
As you would expect, John Ross (knee), Shawn Williams (elbow) and C.J. Uzomah working out on side field. All not expected to play Sunday.— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) September 6, 2017
John Ross is doing some work today at practice in one-on-one drills. Good sign for him.— Katherine Terrell (@Kat_Terrell) September 6, 2017
The rookie wide receiver is dealing with a knee sprain that will reportedly sideline him for the first two regular-season games. That includes Sunday versus the Baltimore Ravens and next Thursday against the Houston Texans.
Still, it’s good seeing Ross is able to do some one-on-one work. He was still listed as a non-participant though on the injury report (see below). He’ll likely need to get in at least one full session, however, for the coaches to make him active on Sunday. His absence could mean Cody Core is active in Weeks 1 and 2. Core and rookie Josh Malone made the roster essentially as the sixth and seventh receivers, so they could be inactive most, if not every game in which Ross plays.
Another pass-catcher not expected to play this week is C.J. Uzomah. The third-year tight end hasn’t practiced since August 7. Uzomah was vying to be the No. 2 tight end behind Tyler Eifert this season, which is essentially a starter considering how much time Eifert tends to miss.
But, a bad ankle sprain in training camp has kept Uzomah sidelined for the last month. I wouldn’t expect to see him next Thursday either with it being a short turnaround from a Sunday game. It will be interesting to see if his absence leads to undrafted free agent Cethan Carter being active this week.
As for the defense, the only player missing Wednesday was Shawn Williams, who continues to recover from his elbow injury sustained in the second preseason game. He continues to get work on the rehab field, which suggests his return isn’t too far off.
Still, we shouldn’t expect to see Williams play next Thursday. That long break between then and Week 3 at Green Bay could be enough time for him to heal and get back to game shape. While he’s out, expect Josh Shaw to be the starting safety next to George Iloka. Backups Derron Smith and Clayton Fejedelem will time at safety during the next two games, too.
Elsewhere, wide receiver Tyler Boyd was a full participant, despite a hamstring injury and running back Jeremy Hill was full after an ankle injury took him out of the third preseason game early.
As for the Ravens, they have quarterback Joe Flacco back as a full participant following the back injury that kept him sidelined for all of training camp and the preseason.
Here is the full injury and participation report for Wednesday for both the Bengals and Ravens:
Week 1 Injury Report
|WR Tyler Boyd||Hamstring||FP|
|RB Jeremy Hill||Ankle||FP|
|TE Tyler Eifert||Knee||FP|
|S George Iloka||Knee||FP|
|WR John Ross||Knee||DNP|
|TE C.J. Uzomah||Ankle||DNP|
|S Shawn Williams||Elbow||DNP|
|CB Jaylen Hill||Thigh||DNP|
|CB Sheldon Price||Concussion||LP|
|QB Joe Flacco||Back||FP|
|WR Jeremy Maclin||Hand||FP|
|WR Breshad Perriman||Thigh||FP|
|OT Ronnie Stanley||Knee||FP|
|RB Danny Woodhead||Thigh||FP|