Darqueze Dennard looked to help a decimated Bengals secondary Sunday.
Cornerback Darqueze Dennard, who barely practiced this week with an injured knee, came to the rescue of a battered Bengals secondary when head coach Marvin Lewis put him on the active list for Sunday's game against the Bears at Paul Brown Stadium.
With starting cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick (concussion) out, the other one, Adam Jones, gone for the year with a partially torn groin, and starting safety Shawn Williams (hamstring) out for the third straight game, all hands are on deck. Dennard is expected to start with William Jackson and Josh Shaw serving as the third corner. But there was no such help at linebacker with outside backers Vontaze Burfict (concussion) and Nick Vigil (ankle) inactive. Vincent Rey is active after missing the last two games with a hamstring injury, but for the second straight game they have only four active backers with rookies Jordan Evans and Hardy Nickerson lining up with veterans Rey and Kevin Minter.
The long inactive list with injured players that includes running back Joe Mixon (concussion) opens it up for some kids. Look for rookie running back Brian Hill to get his first NFL carry spelling Giovani Bernard and guard Alex Redmond could see some time in his first game since Oct. 1.
With so many hurt and the presence of quicksilver Bears rookie returner Tarik Cohen, the Bengals are concerned about the trickle-down impact on special teams. Another youngster, first-year cornerback Tony McRae promoted from the practice squad on Saturday, has been rushed into the fray on teams. His Bengals debut is also serving as a college reunion since he played with Cohen at North Carolina A&T.
Healthy scratches included guard Christian Westerman and defensive tackle Josh Tupou to go along with Kirkpatrick, Williams, Burfict, Vigil, and Mixon.