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Lewis: Tez may have surgery, but back for '15; Wright, Hunt not back


Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis says Pro Bowl WILL linebacker Vontaze Burfict is mulling more surgery on the knee that ended his season on injured reserve. But he also says if does opt for surgery, he expects Burfict to return in a normal timeline for 2015.

Lewis said the toughest part has been trying to get a decision from Burfict because he has been holding out hope of playing.

"On Sunday he told me he was ready to play. That's why he is what he is," Lewis said. "He's such a competitor and everything. He's heard recommendations from a lot of different people, and then he's going to have to make a decision on what's best to go forward."

Lewis made it sound like the decision would be in about a week...

Backup wide receiver James Wright (knee) and backup right end Margus Hunt (ankle) didn't practice Wednesday after they didn't play on Sunday. Hunt has missed three straight games. Neither did cornerbacks Adam Jones (chest) and Dre Kirkpatrick (foot). Both got nicked up during the day Sunday, but ended up playing most of the way. Kirkpatrick's Achilles' tightened during warmups. Left guard Mike Pollak (knee) had his rest day...

Kicker Mike Nugent didn't practice Wednesday after his father died suddenly Monday night. Dan Nugent, 66, of Centerville, Ohio, was a youth football coach who held Bengals'' season tickets while his son was growing up...

In his weekly news conference before Wednesday's practice Lewis addressed the media for the first time since his two apologies for calling Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel "a midget."

"My remark was dumb," he said and when he opened the floor for more questions about it he had no takers and officially moved….

But it was a bizarre scene straight out of the Sam Wyche Era. Cleveland television station Fox 8 dispatched local icon Lil' John Rinaldi to ask Lewis how the Bengals would combat Manziel's short stature in the pocket. Rinaldi, reading from a script, gave up after two questions when Lewis gave some bland responses. But he did go on the field with the rest of media to watch the opening moments of practice. While the 4-3 Rinaldi watched, his cameraman shot some footage of the practice over his shoulder.

Rinaldi, 68, is best known from the Big Chuck and Lil' John  Show that aired in Cleveland from 1979-2007. In addition to hosting a movie with a live audience, they also performed comedy routines in becoming a staple of the Cleveland scene.

Richard Skinner of The Cincinnati Enquirer asked Rinaldi if he was offended by what Lewis said and Rinaldi told him no.

In the middle of all that, Bengals left end Carlos Dunlap jogged to his position drills and did a quick imitation of Manziel's "Show Me The Money,' salute he does with his fingers for the cameras…

Lewis said he's impressed with Manziel's ability to make plays on the run while keeping his eyes down field…

Bengals cornerback Leon Hall said he meant no disrespect to Manziel, but if he's pumped about anything beyond it being a must game in the AFC North, it is going against former teammate Andrew Hawkins. Hawkins, the Browns slot receiver, missed last month's game and so did Hall.

"Hawk is a tricky receiver," Hall said. "We went against each other a lot."

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