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Update: Harrison in mix with Geathers to IR? CB Marsh added; Zimmer eyes YAC

Posted Sep 18, 2013

Bengals middle linebacker Rey Maualuga said he apologized to head coach Marvin Lewis in the training room at Soldier Field two weeks ago after his personal foul with about a minute left in the 24-21 loss the Bears prevented the Bengals from getting the ball back.


Robert Geathers

Updated: 5:45 p.m.

After pitching a sub-300-yard effort against the Steelers, the Bengals defense suddenly has issues with the Packers No. 1 offense coming to town Sunday (1 p.m.-Cincinnati's Channel 19) at Paul Brown Stadium.

In response to their diminishing numbers at cornerback, the Bengals signed former Eagles third-round pick Curtis Marsh and he took the place of one of the club's team leaders when left end Robert Geathers (elbow) went on season-ending injured reserve.

In a reverse of Monday's pregame move, the Bengals re-signed safety Jeromy Miles and waived linebacker J.K. Schaffer in the apparent hope of re-signing him to the practice squad Thursday if he's not claimed.

Coming off the practice field Wednesday, defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer indicated SAM backer James Harrison might be an option to take some of Geathers's backup snaps and said that the redshirt year of second-round pick Margus Hunt, a project defensive end, might be over.

"He's still got a ways to go," said Zimmer, who also said he had no problem putting him in there.

Zimmer pointed out that Harrison was used as a rush end in Pittsburgh. He played him just 14 snaps Monday night because of "personnel. (The Steelers) were (mostly) in nickel and hurryup."

But asked if he's looking to use Harrison in a variety of ways against passing teams, Zimmer simply said, "Agreed."

Remember when cornerback was a mountain of depth for the Bengals? On Wednesday three of their five corners on the week's depth chart didn't practice with Brandon Ghee (concussion) continuing to be out and Dre Kirkpatrick shelved with the hamstring issue that took him out of Monday night's fourth quarter. Plus, third corner Adam Jones (abdomen), who played 49 of Monday's 55 snaps, was also out.

In 22 games over the 2011-12 seasons, including 15 last year, the 6-1, 197-pound Marsh had 10 special teams tackles and six tackles on defense. He was with the Eagles this preseason but missed time with a hand fracture and was waived Sept. 5. Marsh was on the field working but Miles (hamstring) was not. Also not working for the Bengals was backup guard-center Mike Pollack.

Wide receiver Marvin Jones (foot) and tackle Anthony Collins (knee) got rides off the practice field after being limited and it didn't look serious. Left end Carlos Dunlap (thigh) was also limited.

Another potential move could come later in the week with cornerback Chris Lewis-Harris coming off the practice squad.

All of it comes at a bad time with Packers Pro Bowl quarterback Aaron Rodgers lining up an offense that has averaged nearly 39 points in its last four regular-season games and put 580 yards last Sunday on Washington.

Although Dunlap took his place in the starting lineup this year, Geathers, 30, has missed just 10 games in his 10 seasons and has been a valued member of the defensive line's vaunted rotation for his reliability and leadership. The Bengals re-signed him to a three-year, $10 million deal in the offseason.

Wallace Gilberry can take some of his snaps and tackle Devon Still might be able to play outside at times, as well as possibly Harrison and Hunt,

YAC-ETY YAC: The Packers rung up 295 yards after the catch Sunday against Washington, the second most ever since STATS LLC started charting it in 1992. Zimmer has been watching.

"They break a lot of tackles. They run some things that are not technically legal," Zimmer said. "They block downfield for guys and make a short throw. Really, they're not supposed to be able to do that, but they seem to get away with it."

REY SAY: Bengals middle linebacker Rey Maualuga said he apologized to head coach Marvin Lewis in the training room at Soldier Field two weeks ago after his personal foul with about a minute left in the 24-21 loss the Bears prevented the Bengals from getting the ball back.

"He said it was a stupid mistake, but you can't put this on your shoulders because it just wasn't you that lost the game," Maualuga recalled before Wednesday's practice. "It put me at ease, but at the same time I'm worried about what coaches say. I'm worried about what the front office says."

Maualuga said it has been a painful lesson to digest. But he felt good enough to kid Lewis after Monday's 20-10 win over the Steelers when the coach tried to break up a late skirmish on the Cincinnati sideline and found himself grabbing Steelers safety Troy Polamalu, Maualuga's fellow USC product of Samoan descent.

"I asked him, 'Why him?' " Maualuga said with a smile as he recalled using the Samoan word for friend. "Why do you have to do that to the Uso?"

But Maualuga doesn't think Lewis heard him.

SLANTS AND SCREENS

» Cornerback Leon Hall says there's no doubt in his mind, Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers is the best quarterback in the NFL because of his combination of mobility, smarts and arm strength.

» Before he was waived Wednesday, Schaffer, the local product out of LaSalle High School who got the call to the active roster at 3 p.m. Monday, confirmed a mad scramble for tickets. His father and brother were already headed to the game, but about 10 other family and friends were able to drop everything and head to Paul Brown Stadium to watch his NFL debut.

 

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