The Cincinnati Bengals kicked off their week of practice on Thursday in preparation for a Monday night clash with the Pittsburgh Steelers. But preparing to play football without knowing who will be starting at quarterback is difficult.
Brandon Allen (knee) did not practice on Thursday as he is still recovering from the bone bruise he suffered on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys. Head coach Zac Taylor said during his weekly press conference that Allen would not practice, but if he is healthy enough to play on Monday, he will.
This forced Ryan Finley to take first-team reps and the team also signed Kyle Shurmur, the son of the long-time NFL coach Pat Shurmur, to their practice squad.
Joining Allen as an injury-related DNP for Thursday was Logan Wilson (ankle). The rookie linebacker missed the second half of the Cowboys game because of his injury, so he could be out for a little bit.
Brandon Wilson (hamstring) didn’t play in that game at all, so it’s nice to see he was at least limited in practice. Bobby Hart (back) was limited as well, and Xavier Su’a-Filo (finger) was a full participant. Su’a-Filo played in his second game of the season—and his first at left guard—on Sunday.
Joe Mixon will remain on the Reserve/Injured list this week. Taylor did not say that Mixon will not play again this year, which is what he said about Trae Waynes, but there’s only two games left in the season after Monday. It just doesn’t seem likely that Mixon returns this season, even if it isn’t a guarantee.
For the Steelers, QB Ben Roethlisberger (rest) and three others did not practice. CB Joe Haden (concussion) is listed as DNP, but according to the Steelers.com, Haden was a full participant.
OL Kevin Dotson (shoulder) and RB James Conner (quad) were both injured against the Bills, and they didn’t practice on Thursday. Sean Davis (illness) did not practice either.