Newman bubbles up, but doubtful; Gresham, Eifert go full and questionable; Gruden cautious

Posted Jan 3, 2014

Terence Newman was on the field buckled up in a helmet when the Bengals worked inside the University of Cincinnati bubble.

Terence Newman

Updated: 4:40 p.m.

Cornerback Terence Newman was on the field buckled up in a helmet Friday when the Bengals worked inside the University of Cincinnati bubble in a morning practice, but he was called doubtful for Sunday's wild card game against the Chargers (1:05 p.m.-Cincinnati's Channel 12) at sold-out Paul Brown Stadium.

He was joined by left tackle Anthony Collins (ankle), sidelined the last two days, but after going full Collins was called probable. So were linemen Andre Smith (ankle) and Andrew Whitworth (ankle).

Newman, an 11-year veteran who missed the final three games with a knee sprain, made his first appearance since the injury in the Dec. 8 victory over the Colts.

Also on the field was center Kyle Cook (foot), which was a good sign after he was limited Thursday in his first workout of the week that began with him on crutches. He went full Friday and although he was called questionable he said after practice that he had a normal Friday workout and if things stay the same he should be OK.

"The big thing was how I felt this morning after going yesterday and it felt good enough to go today. We'll see what happens tomorrow," Cook said.

Also back full was cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick after he missed Thursday's practice with an illness.

Tight ends Jermaine Gresham (hamstring) and Tyler Eifert (neck) went full and were called questionable. It's the first time each has gone full in a practice since getting hurt Dec. 22 against the Vikings and missing last week's game. Defensive lineman Wallace Gilberry (concussion) went full and is also questionable.

With defensive tackle Devon Still (back) on injured reserve, everybody else went full and is probable.

It wasn't exactly a day at the beach inside the bubble as the city shivered in the bright sunlight of 15 degrees compared to Friday's high of 71 degrees forecasted for San Diego. The call for Sunday's 1:05 p.m. wild card game at Paul Brown Stadium is a kickoff temperature hovering around freezing with a mix of snow and rain.

Head coach Marvin Lewis said he had planned to go indoors Friday no matter the weather and Cook thought it was a good call.

"Friday is a clean, crisp day. We were fortunate to get everybody back at practice," Cook said. "We were focused on that and our assignments and not worried about the cold. We've all practiced in it.

"Looking at the weather, you're assuming (the game is) probably going to be what it was like yesterday with snow falling and we pretty much had everybody working a little bit yesterday. We're used to it."

GRUDEN CAUTIOUS: To no one's surprise the names of Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer and offensive coordinator Jay Gruden have been linked to several head coaching vacancies. They can't interview until next week and Gruden indicated earlier this week he'd prefer not to deal with it until the Bengals season is over. That may not be possible, but who knows what ends up happening? Lewis said Friday he doesn't think the system is a detriment to teams preparing for playoff games.

"I think people who own teams know who they want to hire. It's always been that way and I don't think it's ever going to change," Lewis said. "People shouldn't waste coaches' time. If they're not sincerely very interested. For teams to say they're going to interview 13 or 12 people makes no sense. You don't go into a car dealership and look at 13 different cars, do you? … Shocking."

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