Bengals still checking

Posted: 5:45 a.m.

According to an NFL source Tuesday night, the Bengals worked out one of their former players when linebacker Ed Hartwell returned to Paul Brown Stadium during Tuesday's off day.

In confirming the visit, Hartwell agent Harold Lewis said the Bengals were impressed with his client's physical condition but if they do sign him it might not be until next week.

Several factors are at play, notably the status of middle linebackers Ahmad Brooks and Caleb Miller. Brooks (groin) hasn't played since the second game of the season and Miller (back) not since the third game and the indication is the club needs to get some definitive word heading into the second half of the season.

In order to make room on the roster at this point the Bengals would probably start putting players on season-ending injured reserve rather than cutting them.

The Bengals have worked out a bevy of linebackers during the past month, but it's the first time they've given Hartwell a callback since he was one of the surprise cuts on the day the Bengals finalized their roster of 53 a few days before the season.

Hartwell, a seventh-year player, was signed by the Bengals back in May after the Falcons released him. He played in all four preseason games at middle linebacker and on the weak side, and won solid reviews as a run stopper. But there was concern about his ability to play special teams.

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