For the first time in one year and 362 days the Bengals are going to have their two starting cornerbacks on the field Sunday (1 p.m.-Cincinnati's Channel 19) at Paul Brown Stadium against the Packers.
But running back Joe Mixon is still questionable after head coach Zac Taylor held him out of practice for the third straight day. Mixon, the NFL's third-leading rusher, has yet to practice after injuring his ankle on the final drive of the 24-21 victory over Jacksonville. But Taylor says he'll give him one last shot on Saturday.
"He's in good spirits. We'll give him an extra day to see where he's at and then meet and make a decision," Taylor said. "We'll see how he feels. He's a big presence in what we do. We'll give him some treatment and see what he does."
Offensive coordinator Brian Callahan indicated if they don't have Mixon, they would probably lean more to a back-by-committee approach with Samaje Perine and rookie Chris Evans and that could mean Evans gets his first NFL carry. He has three catches for 40 yards. They'd probably also call up Trayveon Williams from the practice squad.
The news is better on other fronts. Despite missing Wednesday and Thursday, Taylor pronounced center Trey Hopkins ready. Still mindful that Hopkins' ACL surgery is just about nine months old, Taylor gave him the time off while getting rookie Trey Hill some reps with the first club.
Wide receiver Tee Higgins (shoulder) went full Friday and Taylor indicated he's ready to play for the first time since Sept. 19. Defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi, who went limited Wednesday and Thursday with a knee injury, felt ill Friday and because, as Taylor said, of the current environment they sat out him out as a precaution but expect him to play.
With Chidobe Awuzie (groin) full go after missing the Jags' game and Trae Waynes (hamstring) back at practice after backed off Thursday, the Bengals line up their starting cornerback tandem for the first time since Oct. 13, 2019. Taylor said Waynes' hamstring got tight during Thursday's practice and they opted to rest him after he lost the first three games when he pulled the hamstring.
With third safety Ricardo Allen (arm) coming off injured reserve, Taylor indicated they'd put right guard Xavier Su'a-Filo (knee) on it for three weeks and they expect him to come back 100 percent.
An ankle injury has knocked backup wide receiver Mike Thomas out of the game, Taylor said.
SHERMAN RELIVES IT: Former Packers head coach Mike Sherman, who also happens to be Taylor's father-in-law, is attending Friday night's University of Cincinnati game with his former Packers offensive coordinator, Tom Rossley, a former Bearcat. Then they're going to PBS to see their old club play the Bengals and there's no question he's rooting for the home team because it is the home team.
When daughter Sarah Taylor wondered who he was pulling for, Sherman said he told her, "Blood is thicker than water."
Perfect time to ask him about the '05 game at The Paul, when Packers quarterback Brett Favre was driving down the field in the last minute for the tying touchdown when a fan jumped out of the stands and took the ball from Favre as he went back to throw in the pocket. After the chase and arrest, the Packers drive died, the Bengals won 21-14 and Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said he owed the guy 20 bucks.
"It did stop the momentum. There should have been an unsportsmanlike penalty," Sherman said.
The Packers had enough of the momentum that Sherman said he was ready to go for two and win the game right then and not take it to overtime.