Update: Dunlap, Scott still limited along with Howard; In praise of Boling

Posted Sep 13, 2012

Carlos Dunlap

Updated: 4:20 p.m.

If the Bengals were looking to get more out of left end Carlos Dunlap (knee) and running back Bernard Scott (hand), it didn't show up on the injury report after Thursday's practice. Like Wednesday, they were listed as limited and it clouded their status for Sunday's home opener at Paul Brown Stadium (1 p.m.- Cincinnati's Channel 12) against the Browns.

And another defensive starter surprisingly surfaced Thursday when WILL backer Thomas Howard (knee) was listed as limited.

Tight end Donald Lee (quad) missed his second straight practice and cornerback Jason Allen (quad) was limited again. Cornerback Adam Jones, who missed Wednesday's practice with an illness, returned Thursday.

After practice Thursday, offensive coordinator Jay Gruden sounded as if he didn't want to rush Scott into Sunday's game since he hasn't been full go since the first week of August. Especially since the Bengals got such a good effort from BenJarvus Green-Ellis with 91 yards on 18 carries against the Ravens.

"Bernard still has to prove to us that he’s ready to go, and that’ll be a coach’s decision," Gruden said. "Right now we’re trying to work him back into the reps this week and if he doesn’t play this week I think it will be good to get another week of practice for him. If he does play then I’d like to get him three or four series and see how he does."

Before Thursday's practice Dunlap said he would try and take some snaps with the defense. He said the knee responded well Thursday morning after doing drills with the defensive line on Wednesday. He says playing actual football won't be all that different than his rehab, but he realizes there's nothing like a real game to simulate conditioning. The guess here is head coach Marvin Lewis is going to make both Dunlap and Scott either questionable or doubtful Friday.

» Center Kyle Cook surfaced in the locker room 16 days after surgery on his ankle Thursday and attended meetings in his own effort to get back as quickly as he can. Since he's on the injured reserve recall list, he can't start practicing until Oct. 16 or play until Nov. 4 against Denver, but he's not sure what his timetable is.

Cook said it was difficult watching Monday night's game knowing that he and left tackle Andrew Whitworth had started 50 straight games together. Like everyone else, he was pleased with how Clint Boling played in his first NFL start at left guard.

"I was real happy for Clint and Whit. I thought those two played really well next to each other," said Cook, who was also impressed with the work of his replacement, Jeff Faine. "I'm glad Jeff was able to go out there and do a good job and learn as much as he could in a short period of time. At least my injury didn't really hamper those guys in a way."

» Whitworth thinks Boling's future is virtually limitless.

"He's had the opportunity and taken off in the last three weeks. I'm excited for him to see how he grows," Whitworth said. "For him, I think it's understanding the NFL game. Strength, agility, athleticism, he has all those things. It's just he didn't quite understand how to use them. Now how he's figured out how to use the tools he has. It's going to be exciting to see him learn week in and week out and get better and better."

» In his seven seasons, Whitworth can't remember the Bengals playing well in an opener, even though they've won three of them since he was drafted and beat Cleveland just last year on Opening Day.

"I think some teams have everything lined up for their opener and some teams are trying to find themselves in the opener," Whitworth said. "I think you really see that growth, no different in any level of football from Week 1 to Week 2. It's going to be a big thing to see how we come out and play this week, the way we execute and the attitude we play with because you're supposed to learn from what you want and this is the week you get to show what your team learned.

"I think this tells way more about your team this week (as opposed to the opener). Because you even have some teams that have the hot hand in Week 1 come back on Week 2 and their season kind of falls apart, or vice versa. ... This game is going to tell us more. Can we go out there and execute and play well? … We'll go into Week 2 and know this is a win we can go get and be 1-1 and be right there with everyone else."


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