Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict will miss his fourth-straight game this weekend when the Bengals head to Houston to play the Texans.
Burfict underwent arthroscopic knee surgery after the team found "something floating in his knee" following Cincinnati's 27-24 win over the Baltimore Ravens. The team initially announced that he would miss a couple of weeks "with a shot" to play last week against the Saints.
The current plan is for Burfict to practice this Wednesday. If he's able to go, and feels good afterwards, the pro bowler could play next week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Head coach Marvin Lewis added that Burfict is "doing well".
Also out this Sunday is defensive end Margus Hunt, who suffered an ankle injury last week against the New Orleans Saints. Hunt, who didn't practice this week, is still sporting a walking boot.
Seven players are listed as probable, including offensive tackle Andre Smith and running back Giovani Bernard... both players have missed multiple games
In Smith's case, a heavy amount of "miss you" occurred with Bengals fans. Marshall Newhouse, who subbed for Smith over the last three games (partially against the Ravens when Smith suffered his injury), has allowed eight pressures and a quarterback sack over that span, with a -7.0 PFF pass protection rating over the last two games.
On the other hand, Cincinnati's rushing offense improved during Giovani Bernard's absence.
In the three games Bernard has missed, Hill posted 361 yards rushing on 63 carries for a 5.7 yard/rush average -- that's 120.3 yards/game with two 150-yard performances in the last three games. Hill joined Paul Robinson as the only rookies in franchise history to generate 150 yards or more rushing twice during their rookie seasons.
However, we shouldn't expect a significant role for Bernard just yet. Offensive coordinator Hue Jackson wants to ease Bernard into the lineup without impacting Hill's playing time.