If his toe continues to feel like it did before Friday morning's practice, wide receiver A.J. Green says he expects to play in Sunday's game (1 p.m.-Cincinnati's Channel 12) against the Titans at Paul Brown Stadium. And he was categorized as "probable," after a full practice.
Green was full go last Friday after not working on Thursday, but ended up taking only five plays in the Bengals victory over Atlanta last Sunday. Yet he said the toe feels better this week, when he took Wednesday off and went limited Thursday.
"It was good, it wasn't sore," Green said of how it reacted to Thursday's workout. "I think I will (play) Sunday."
But there was no sign of WILL linebacker Vontaze Burfict (concussion) for the third straight practice and he's probably looking at his first missed game of his three- year career after the Bengals made him "doubtful." Also out as they have been all week and listed as doubtful were right guard Kevin Zeitler (calf), defensive tackle Brandon Thompson (knee), linebacker Sean Porter (hamstring). and running back Rex Burkhead (knee).
Head coach Marvin Lewis said Green was fine and wouldn't rule out Burifct, saying simply he falls under NFL protocol. He did say Burfict is better but rarely does a Bengal miss all three days of practice and play Sunday.
Defensive end Carlos Dunlap (knee) went limited Thursday but full Friday and is probable. So were left tackle Andrew Whitworth (knee), left guard Clint Boling (knee), and Zeitler backup Mike Pollak (knee) after missing variety days of work this week.
MIGHTY CASEY UP: The Bengals put their sack-less streak on the line Sunday against one of the top inside rushers in the game when they face the Titans' versatile and explosive Jurrell Casey up front. The 6-1, 308-pound Casey, a 3-4 end, likes to line up all over. But when all is said and done in the Titans defense, most of the time left guard Clint Boling is going to get him on pass downs and left tackle Andrew Whitworth is going to get him on the other downs.CASEY
Casey is Geno Atkinsesque in that he gets leverage out of his 6-1 frame and it is an intriguing matchup. Atkins' 12.5 sacks in 2012 are the most sacks for any interior linemen in the last ten years and he and Casey (10.5 last year) have the most since 2005. They're bringing Atkins along slowly off his torn ACL rehab and this would be a nice game to be able match Casey. Casey has two sacks on the season and Atkins is looking for his first.
Bengals' foes are looking for a first sack, too, and it's been a solid start for rookie center Russell Bodine as he adjusts to his line and the NFL.
"By no means do I have everything figured out. Every week is different than the last, 3-4 teams or not 3-4 teams. They kind of tweak stuff every week," said Bodine, who admits he's getting a little more settled.
"I'm still learning, but at the same time I'm definitely a lot more comfortable than I was against Kansas City (in the preseason opener) and even last week (in Baltimore),' he said. "At some point you've done it. Your first game…there are some nerves that come in. Your first real NFL game. Now that you've got that it's back to playing football."
Bodine says keeping Dalton clean is enough of an emphasis that no sacks are a category on the offensive line room's board of goals.
"It's a big testimony of getting everybody on the same page and making everybody working together,' he said. "That includes Andy, getting rid of it in time or us giving him time to get rid of it. It's definitely a group effort."
Two games into it and Bodine doesn't want to get cut a break.
"You guys keep talking about this rookie thing, but I don't want to use it as a crutch," Bodine said. "I'm expected to do my job and know my assignments."
He'll be expected to help out on Casey.
"He's got a good motor and on top of that some twitchy moves," Casey said. "Whether he's standing up or down, they hit the same gaps…He's a good player, but like I've said, if you worry about what you have to do and your assignments, you're going to be OK."
WEATHER CHECK: The National Weather Service in Wilmington, Ohio is calling for the possibility of an isolated shower around kickoff, but weather improving throughout the game with a temperature of 75 degrees under partly cloudy skies. A west and northwest wind is predicted at 15 to 25 miles per hour with gusts reaching up to 30.