Updated: 6 p.m.
With the regular season-opener 17 days away and the preseason finale set for Indianapolis on Thursday night, some key Bengals stepped up their rehabs at Friday's walkthrough and head coach Marvin Lewis said all the players who missed the last game are either ahead of schedule or on schedule medically. Which means most are going to play in the Sept. 10 regular-season opener in Baltimore.
FRIDAY MOVES: As expected Friday, the Bengals put on season-ending injured reserve a pair cornerbacks in three-year veteran
But unexpectedly they also iced second-year safety Robert Sands, needing surgery for a chest injury suffered on special teams last week in Atlanta, as well as rookie wide receiver/cornerback
The Bengals also released veteran running back Aaron Brown, first-year guard Matt Murphy, rookie quarterback Tyler Hansen and rookie defensive end Luke Black.
The release of Black, signed last week, could be a good sign for the return of left end Robert Geathers as he heads into his third week rehabbing from arthroscopic knee surgery. Brown, with two yards on three carries, and Hansen, throwing a pick-six late in the game, struggled against the Packers.
The moves would seem to indicate that fifth-rounder
The rule that allows one player to go on the injured reserve list for eight games instead of all 16 has been tabled and while Lewis says Ghee would have fit into that category, the rule was designed with quarterbacks and top players in mind. While Ghee was seen as a valuable contributor as a possible third or fourth corner, Lewis said he doesn't see the lack of the rule making a big impact on the roster.
When the Bengals went into Friday's practice in Paul Brown Stadium, they had 76 players on the roster and need to be at 75 Monday.
MONDAY, MONDAY: Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden has a renunion with brother Jon when their season opens in Baltimore Monday night Sept. 10 on ESPN, where Jon is the analyst.
That may be the farthest thing from Jay's mind after his first-teamers managed just one first down on eight third-down tries and had a passer rating of 39.6 during Thursday night's 27-13 loss to the Packers.
But he's hoping his brother's TV lights are some of the things that can help get the Bengals out of the current funk.
"It starts with the intensity and the enthusiasm to play the game. We came out flat," Jay Gruden said after Friday's walkthrough. "Nobody really made any plays. There was nothing out of ordinary. Just a bunch of ordinary things.
"We can all learn from this that we're not a good enough football team to come out flat and uninspired. That's something hopefully Monday Night Football will take care of."