Ten players were unable to practice for the Bengals on Wednesday as they prepare for the Buccaneers.
Among them were Vontaze Burfict (hip), Darqueze Dennard (sternoclavicular), John Ross (groin), Nick Vigil (knee), Tyler Kroft (foot), Giovani Bernard (knee), Bobby Hart (back) and Dre Kirkpatrick (Achilles).
Of that group, Bernard, Vigil, Dennard and Kroft missed last week and are expected to be sidelined again this week. All of them are expected to return sometime after the Week 9 bye, but it’s untelling who among them will be ready to face the Saints in Week 10.
Starting center Billy Price (foot) is trending toward being ready for that game, as he returned to get in a limited session on Wednesday. He probably won’t suit up this week, but just seeing him on the practice field was a sight for sore eyes.
It’s unclear how serious Hart’s back issue is, as he has yet to miss a game this year. If he were to be out, Jake Fisher figures to start in his place, but Fisher is now dealing with a back issue as well. If both of them were to miss Week 8, Cedric Ogbuehi would be the starting right tackle (pray for Andy Dalton).
As for Kirkpatrick, his Achilles issue is also new, so it’s unclear how severe it is and if it will sideline him this week. With Dennard already out, Kirkpatrick being inactive would lead to either Darius Phillips or KeiVarae Russell being thrust into the starting lineup.
Oh, and long snapper Clark Harris has a concussion he apparently suffered Sunday vs. the Chiefs. If he’s out this week, the Bengals may have to cut someone and sign another long snapper.
Among the Buccaneers not practicing today included All-Pro defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, who missed last week with a calf injury and may be out again this week, which would be a big loss for Tampa Bay.
With starting running back Peyton Barber sidelined with his ankle issue, rookie Ronald Jones is getting the first-team reps this week. A second-round pick out of USC, Jones has just 17 carries for 45 yards and a touchdown this season.