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Friday notes: Murray to IR; Pressley active; Gresham out of practice, questionable

Updated: 3:15 p.m.

Jermaine Gresham missed his third straight practice of the week Friday morning after going home following his grandmother's death and head coach Marvin Lewis said after practice he's not sure how much he'll get from his rookie tight end Sunday that has started eight games and has the third most catches on the team.

"We'll see," Lewis said and Gresham is listed as questionable.

"They were very close and he's the male of the family; he's got a lot of responsibilities," Lewis said. "He's having to deal with that in his own way and go through this period of mourning and he'll get with us when he gets with us."

Tight end is a key position against the Steelers because of their different blitzes and while there are some similarities to the Nov. 8 game plan, Lewis indicated it's hard to miss all three practices and play.

"Obviously it's a tough thing," he said.

The secondary is also banged up again a week after finally getting healthy. Backup cornerback Rico Murray became the fourth corner to go on injured reserve Friday after he apparently reaggravated his ankle in Wednesday's practice. Starting cornerback Johnathan Joseph (ankle) was on the field for the first time this week but was limited and is categorized as questionable.

Chris Pressley signed up from the practice squad to take Murray's place on the roster. Pressley, who played in seven games with the Bucs last year and three this year, is the first fullback on the Bengals 53-man roster this season.

Everybody else went full go Friday but defensive tackle Pat Sims and are probable. Sims is also probable.

Steelers tight end Heath Miller (concussion) is out but right tackle Flozell Adams (ankle) went full Friday and is probable. Same with safety Troy Polamalu (ankle) and running back Isaac Redman (ankle). 

Murray joins Alex Erickson (neck), Morgan Trent (knee) and Brandon Ghee (hamstring) as corners who have had their seasons ended by injury and is the sixth defensive back on IR. It's another shot to special teams, where Murray had been an effective gunner earlier in the season and is tied for sixth in special teams tackles.

If Joseph can't play, the Bengals are really struggling with just three corners: Leon Hall, Jonathan Wade and Fred Bennett. Wade and Bennett joined the club less than three weeks ago. Safety Tom Nelson could be tapped to play corner on passing downs.

» Lewis continues to remain mum on his future as he goes back to his hometown for the last time before his contract expires at the end of the season. With the Bengals mired at 2-10 and the University of Pittsburgh letting go coach Dave Wannstedt earlier this week, Lewis' name surfaced as a possible successor. On Friday, Lewis skated the issue just like he did with the Pittsburgh media Wednesday.

"I don't know where the question comes from," said Lewis, who was an assistant at Pitt in 1991 before becoming the Steelers linebackers coach in 1992. "I don't see how relevant that really is. We are where we are. We'll just keep working and get out of this funk and move forward. That's all we can do. That's all we can worry about is making sure we're better prepared to put ourselves in position to make plays to win the game and that's the key."

» The Bengals worked under relatively balmy skies Friday morning inside Paul Brown Stadium with temperatures leaping into the 40s after a week of sub-freezing temperatures. But they are bracing for Sunday's miserable weather in Pittsburgh. The National Weather Service in Wilmington, Ohio, is calling for 100 percent chance of rain changing to snow at about kickoff with temperatures in the low 30s and winds reaching 10 to 15 miles per hour with gusts up to 25.

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