Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis confirmed at Monday's news conference that he expects left guard Clint Boling to go on season-ending injured reserve with a torn ACL and that he plans on right guard Kevin Zeitler returning to the lineup after missing the last two games with a foot injury.
But he wouldn't discuss the prospect of leaving left tackle Andrew Whitworth at left guard and starting Anthony Collins at left tackle for Sunday's 1 p.m. game against the Colts at Paul Brown Stadium. That's the combo that played all but five snaps of Sunday's 17-10 victory over the Chargers that featured 164 yards rushing and helped melt the last 4:30 of the game with eight straight runs.
Lewis did say Whitworth is an option (how could he not be after his powerful performance?), but he and offensive coordinator Jay Gruden praised the play of six-year veteran Mike Pollack's work the last two games and he is also a possibility. So is fifth-round pick Tanner Hawkinson, who also backs up left tackle.
» Running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who carried seven of those times down the stretch, said people have been calling him Mariano Rivera, baseball's greatest closer.
"I guess that's a new nickname," The Law Firm said.
» Cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick looked at the ball placed in his locker Monday by equipment managers Jeff Brickner and Adam Knollman and said his first NFL interception is going to his mother. Sunday was an emotional day for Kirkpatrick, the 2012 first-round draft pick out of Alabama whose career was derailed early by injuries. Now he's had to navigate time on the bench because of the Bengals veterans that have played so well in front of him at cornerback.
"I didn't even want to talk about it. I just wanted to let it soak in," Kirkpatrick said Monday after he bolted from the locker room Sunday. "Enjoy it."
Lewis said he expects Kirkpatrick to become an NFL starter at some point, but praised his recent play on special teams (he prevented Kevin Huber's team-record tying 75-yard punt Sunday from going into the end zone), as well as his various snaps from scrimmage.
"We had to get him recovered from the Alabama-Auburn game first. He looked like those two little kids they showed on TV with tears running down their face," Lewis joked. "Everything after that was up.
"You've got to love Dre. He just wants to be out there playing every snap and doing well. Proving to whomever, himself included, that he belongs. He just has to understand he belongs. He belongs."