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Bengals at Ravens injury report: Vontaze Burfict, Darqueze Dennard return

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The Bengals could be getting back two key starters on defense this week.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals linebacking corps is struggling to get back to full strength, and Wednesday’s practice was a mix of good and bad news for the defense.

After missing the last two games with a hip injury, Vontaze Burfict was limited in his first practice back with the team. Burfict played in two full games after returning from his four-game suspension to start the season before leaving in the middle of Week 7’s contest with the Chiefs. Burfict didn’t even look like his old self when he was out on the field prior to the injury, so he’s likely going to need to get a full practice in if he wants to play this week.

It’s a good thing Burfict actually did practice because Preston Brown did not. Brown was seen wearing a brace around his knee along with Adolphus Washington in the locker room prior to practice and obviously neither were in any position to practice.

Joining Brown as a new addition to the injury report was Dre Kirkpatrick, who left last Sunday’s game against the Saints with a concussion. Kirkpatrick is presumably still in the concussion protocol and will not practice in any capacity until he clears it.

The remaining four who did not practice have not changed from last week. A.J. Green, Josh Malone, Tyler Kroft and Nick Vigil all did not practice, and it’s unlikely that all besides Green will not suit up for Sunday. Green is already guaranteed to not play, and will not until the beginning of December at the soonest.

Someone who does have a decent chance to play on Sunday is Darqueze Dennard, who was limited. Dennard hasn’t played since Week 6 against the Steelers when he left early in the game with an apparent shoulder injury. Dennard’s official diagnosis was listed as a Sternoclavicular injury, and he appears to be healthy enough to practice in some capacity now.

Joining Dennard as a limited participant is Alex Redmond, who is recovering from a hamstring inury. Redmond’s absence allowed Trey Hopkins to remain amongst the starters on the offensive line at right guard after Billy Price took his spot back at center. Hopkins would return to the bench if Redmond is able to go this week.

John Ross was also limited with his groin injury that took him out towards the very end of Saints game. Ross said after the game that he’s “fine” and will play against the Ravens, but Bengals players don’t have the greatest track record when it comes to predicting recovery times for injuries this season. Still, Ross practicing is a good sign for him to make good on his statement.

For the Ravens, they were without a handful of starters themselves. Quarterback Joe Flacco expectedly was out and his status for Sunday will likely remain a mystery. Right tackle James Hurst has missed their last three games with a back injury and safety Tony Jefferson continued to sit out after missing their last game in Week 9 against the Steelers. Both starting left tackle Ronnie Stanley and linebacker Tim Williams were limited with ankle injuries.

The Ravens are still much healthier than the Bengals right now, but the absence of their quarterback could put them at a disadvantage. Though it is Flacco, so maybe it will do the exact opposite.