The Bengals will start Mike Pollak at right guard in place of Kevin Zeitler today when they host the Browns in a battle of the AFC North’s top two teams. Zeitler is missing his first game after 26 consecutive starts to begin his career.
The other inactives for Cincinnati are cornerback Chris Crocker, running back Rex Burkhead, linebacker Rey Maualuga, offensive lineman Tanner Hawkinson, defensive lineman Devon Still and wide receiver Ryan Whalen. Maualuga is missing his third straight game due to a knee injury suffered against the New York Jets on Oct. 27 but was seen working out with trainers during Sunday’s warm-up period. He is expected to be ready to play at San Diego on Dec. 1 after the Bengals’ bye.
Crocker did not practice this week due to a hamstring injury. He has been the main cover guy against slot receivers in the Bengals defense. Dre Kirkpatrick and Brandon Ghee are expected to see more time on defense with Crocker out of the game.
The Browns are in much better health condition than the Bengals. Tight end MarQueis Gray (hamstring) is the only player inactive for Cleveland because of health. Running back Willis McGahee was on the Thursday injury report with a knee injury but is active today.
Cleveland’s other inactives are: linebacker Brandon Magee, offensive linemen Patrick Lewis, Martin Wallace, Garrett Gilkey and Reid Fragel and defensive lineman Ishmaa’ily Kitchen.