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Update: G-Man (prob), Marv (prob), Adam Jones (questionable); Looking to Dunlap; Whit talks Clay

Posted Sep 20, 2013

Bengals rookie running back Giovani Bernard (hamstring) and wide receiver Marvin Jones (foot) worked early in Friday's practice.


Marvin Jones

Updated: 2:45 p.m.

Bengals rookie running back Giovani Bernard (hamstring) and wide receiver Marvin Jones (foot) worked early in the Bengals Friday practice and looked smooth running pass routes. Jones didn't work Thursday, when Bernard was limited. After practice Bernard was listed as probable after going full while Jones was listed as probable after going limited Wednesday.

Cornerback Adam Jones (abdomen) was also questionable following a limited practice after he sat out Thursday. The club could go into Sunday's game against the Packers (1 p.m.-Cincinnati's Channel 19) with just three cornerbacks and one of them the newly-acquired Curtis Marsh. cornerbacks Dre Kirkpatrick (hamstring-doubtful) and Brandon Ghee (concussion-out) haven't worked this week, but Ghee may be getting close because he had his helmet with him. For the second straight day backup tackle Anthony Collins (knee) didn't work and is listed as questionable.

Also doubtful after not practicing was backup center-guard Mike Pollak (knee). Safety Jeromy Miles (hamsting) is questionable after going limited Friday. Right end Wallace Gilberry (knee) was back full go Friday and probable, as was tight end Alex Smith.

One move that could be made with the situation at corner is Chris Lewis-Harris getting promoted from the practice squad.

DUNLAP WATCHING: Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis says the compensation for team leader Robert Geathers's season-ending elbow injury has to come from the kids no longer kids.

Lewis is looking at four-year veteran Carlos Dunlap, entrusted with a $40 million extension and Geathers's starting job at left end during training camp.

"We made an investment in his future and our future and some of that return is the maturity in a leader," Lewis said after Friday's practice. "You gain leadership from Robert Geathers's area and you have to gain from a guy who should have soaked it up from a great pro. The leader that Michel Johnson has been. Geno (Atkins) has come forefront. It's unfortunate for Robert. It's the first time in his career he's been in that situation, but we've got to move forward and the other guys have to step up."

The coaches don't hide the fact they try to motivate Dunlap in many ways, but one of those was not continually starting Geathers ahead of him last year.

"No big deal. It doesn't matter who runs out there first," Lewis said. "It's just a matter of assuming the position."

And Lewis likes what he's seen from Dunlap in that department so far.

"I don't say his name nearly as much," Lewis said.

How to compensate for the loss of Geathers's snaps in the rotation is less clear. He only took 14 in Chicago two weeks ago before he left after eight plays Monday night. Lewis says second-rounder Margus Hunt, in just his fifth year of football, could help and compares him to the rookie-year development of wide receiver Marvin Jones, a guy that started the last six games of last season because of the injury to Mohamed Sanu.

"(Hunt) can (contribute) if we need him to. I'm happy with him," Lewis said. "What he's doing is exactly what I expected. He's very similar to Marvin Jones and those type of guys."

WHIT AND CLAY: Collins (34 percent) and Andrew Whitworth (66 percent) rotated at left tackle Monday night against the Steelers in Whitworth's first padded appearance since the Wild Card playoff in January. But with Collins not practicing and unless rookie Tanner Hawkinson gets some snaps, Whitworth (knee) may have to go the whole way against Packers outside linebacker Clay Matthews five and half days after his sore debut.

The 6-3, 255-pound Mathews is a different guy than the 6-7, 320-pound Whitworth usually sees in the AFC North as two Pro Bowlers get ready to duel. Matthews's 17 sacks in his first 20 games is an NFL record and he's kept it going with his 43.5 career sacks total that is fifth in the NFL since he came into the league in 2009.

"He's more speed, effort, a little physicalness to him but not like a big heavy guy," Whitworth said before Friday's practice. "AFC North guys are more like (Paul) Kruger. They could be a D-lineman slash outside backers. He's probably similar to 4-3 speed ends. He's a little different."

Whitworth has a lot of regard for Matthews, as evidenced when he invoked the name of great Steelers safety Troy Polamalu.

"He's an athletic guy that runs around and makes plays. He's more like a Troy Polamalu of outside backers," Whitworth said. "He's everywhere. He's a little unpredictable at times because he jumps around. He has his own style."

 

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