Bengals wide receiver Andrew Hawkins (ankle), fullback Chris Pressley (knee), and quarterback Zac Robinson (quarterback) are eligible to begin practicing this week; the first date that players on the Physically Unable to Participate list can practice. Hawkins was placed placed on Injured Reserve with a designation to return, forcing him to miss the first eight weeks, but eligible to practice as early as week seven.
According to the beat writers that attended the first 30 minutes of Wednesday's practice (the only time that they're allowed to watch), none were on the field.
No sign of the PUP and IR guys who would be cleared to practice this week, either.— Coley Harvey (@ColeyHarvey) October 16, 2013
There's no rush to get Hawkins back, who will have three weeks before he's eligible to play against the Miami Dolphins in week nine on the NFL Network's Thursday Night Football (on Halloween!).
Pressley and Robinson might be dead men walking at this point. If the team didn't carry John Conner on the 53-man roster, arguing that they use a traditional fullback anyway, it's a difficult argument to make for Pressley, especially with the team successfully using Domata Peko. And Robinson's only chance, who is ineligible for the practice squad, means replacing Josh Johnson, which won't happen.
Like Hawkins, Pressley and Robinson can hold out for awhile. When they practice, the Bengals are given 21 days before they're required to make a decision on them. The deadline to make those decisions (53-man roster, IR, release) is set for November 19. So the team can hold them until November 18, given until early December before a deadline is set. In other words, the Bengals now have a contingency or almost two months at fullback and quarterback.
Bengals cornerback Terence Newman also sat on Wednesday. He missed a handful of plays with a hip injury against the Bills before returning in the fourth quarter. BenJarvus Green-Ellis (illness) and Devon Still (unknown) also sat during Wednesday's session.