Three key Bengals questionable to play against Browns
CINCINNATI -- Tight end Jermaine Gresham didn't practice Friday because of a toe injury and is listed as questionable to play Sunday for the Bengals when they play at Cleveland.
The Bengals (8-4-1) are attempting to maintain their slim lead of one-half game in the AFC North over Pittsburgh and Baltimore by reversing their fortunes against a Browns (7-6) team attempting to stay in the playoff hunt. Cleveland beat the Bengals 24-3 when the teams met last month at Paul Brown Stadium when Cincinnati managed just 86 yards rushing and 165 yards of total offense.
Defensive lineman Margus Hunt (ankle) and wide receiver James Wright (knee) are both doubtful to play against the Browns but the Bengals got some good news when cornerback Adam Jones (chest) returned to practice on a limited basis after sitting out Wednesday and Thursday. Jones and fellow cornerback Terence Newman (ankle), who has been limited in practice throughout this week, are both listed as questionable along with Gresham.
Gresham was limited in practice on Thursday. He has 50 catches this season for 378 yards and three touchdowns. This is the fourth time in his five-year career Gresham has caught at least 50 passes in a season but he's also important in the run-blocking scheme. Ryan Hewitt, who has played as a hybrid fullback/tight end this season, could end up seeing more time in the passing attack even though he's only got four receptions for 21 yards this season. Kevin Brock has been the Bengals' third tight end.
Injuries have cost the Bengals two of the three tight ends they began the season with; Tyler Eifert dislocated an elbow in the season opener at Baltimore. He was designated as the team's player to return when he was place in injured reserve but has not practiced since the injury. Alex Smith was lost for the season when he tore a biceps against Atlanta in Week 2.
Cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick (ribs), offensive lineman Mike Pollak (knee) and safety Shawn Williams (chest) are probable and had full practice participation Friday. Kick Mike Nugent has been away from the team this week following the death of his father.