The Bengals may not be bringing in any kickers to work out in the wake of Mike Nugent's struggles the past few weeks, but it's believed injuries are forcing them to take a look at wide receivers and linebackers.
Indications after the game were the Bengals may be without middle linebacker Rey Maualuga (hamstring) and SAM backer Emmanuel Lamur for Sunday's game in Indianapolis (1 p.m.-Channel 12) and that Lamur didn't suffer the same kind of severe shoulder injury that wiped out his 2013 season before it started. Maualuga, who was in severe pain after the game, figures to be out longer than Lamur.
Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said there has been no progress with wide receiver Marvin Jones' ankle injury. Surgery is apparently still an option. Lewis continued to categorize Green as day-to-day and says he's got a shot to play Sunday, but just isn't sure.
"We'll see how he continues to heal," Lewis said. "When it gets to be a level of tolerance and the fact that we feel good about him not re-injuring it and making it last longer and longer that way."
Nugent has missed six of his last 12 field-goal attempts, the last Sunday's 36-yard wide-right job at the overtime gun. Lewis says he still has the confidence he had in him last week.
"Still the same feelings. We've got to make the kicks though. Mike has a couple jobs to get done, and that's one of them," Lewis said.
"Unfortunately I would say in that position you have been through that before and you've got to just bounce back. Hopefully we'll get him a lot of opportunities at 1s as much as possible," Lewis said of extra points. "That's a kick Mike knows good and well he should make. It was going to be a kick he was going to have to kick from further to make it to win the game. We just didn't get it done and it's the same thing, it does us no good to continue to talk about it. We missed the kick yesterday. He'll make the next time he gets an opportunity. Mike will make the kick I'm very confident about that."
On Monday left tackle Andrew Whitworth joined the locker-room voices supporting Nugent.
"We love Nugent around here. He's a class act and a great guy," Whitworth said." I'm sure I've ended games with my worst play before, too. It happens. It's the nature of this game. But honestly, it's why we play it, for the chance to succeed and the opportunity to fail. That rush is the reason true athletes and guys who want to compete play the game."
FLAG DAY: According to the FOX telecast, the crew of referee Carl Cheffers leads the NFL in penalties called and they got the Bengals 13 times Sunday, their most in five years since they had 13 in Green Bay on Sept. 20, 2009.
Lewis didn't want to talk much about it, but he thought right tackle Andre Smith got a bad break on his holding call on rookie running back Jeremy Hill's 22-yard TD run with 2:32 left in regulation that would have given them a 38-31 lead. With Smith blocking Charles Johnson on a run call to the left, Hill saw an opening right and cut back. When Smith re-directed his body, it appeared he pulled cloth but it certainly wasn't blatant on replay. What incensed some Bengals was that Hill was long past the play when Smith noticed the change in direction. Lewis downplayed it.
"The play starts the other way. Andre, he doesn't know the ball is coming back to the right and he's blocked his guy four yards down the field and he doesn't know," Lewis said. "(He) doesn't think the ball (is) coming back that way. It's just unfortunate. You get some of that. You've just got to keep playing. There's a lot of plays that happen in 80-some plays of offense and defense yesterday whatever there were. That's a lot of football plays and so we had a lot of opportunity again to put the game away and we failed to do that and that's the thing we have to understand and get better at. "
Whitworth was called for an illegal block below the waist on a drive the Bengals eventually scored, but he says there's nothing he could do because the defender changed his position, and he'd do it again.
"It was such a split-second thing," Whitworth said. "At the last second I had already left my feet and he dropped his shoulders to avoid me hitting him hard. I would have assumed before the penalty it's like a return situation, where if they turn their back into you it's a no-call. I don't know why that's different, but I guess it is."
NO COMMENT: Lewis had no comment on the reports that the Panthers are so furious at what they call Pro Bowl WILL linebacker Vontaze Burfict's deliberate attempts to injure their players by twisting their legs that head coach Ron Rivera is sending the questionable calls into the NFL office.
Tight end Greg Olsen said Burfict should be suspended, accusing him of what appears to be twisting the ankles of Olsen and quarterback Cam Newton. Olsen told the Carolina media, "the punishment needs to go beyond a fine, … guys like that don't learn."
"If the league truly cares about league safety, they'll start putting out guys for weeks," Olsen said.
Lewis gave the no comment with a shake of his head about the "ankle wrenching allegations," and said, "Ankle wrenching. Sounds like the WWF."
On Sunday Burfict was called for his first two 15-yard penalties of this season after getting eight unnecessary roughing calls last year. He got one of those Sunday when he was called for hitting a defenseless receiver in the head and he got a roughing the quarterback when he didn't pull up on Newton as he threw running out of bounds.
It was Burfict's first game back since missing the last two with a concussion. He left briefly after a hit in the head in the first half, but returned from the locker room and finished with 10 tackles.
"He was so excited to be out there. My point was to relax and play one snap at a time," Lewis said. "Make sure you're going your job. He made quite a few plays yesterday and plays where he didn't play the way he was supposed to play it. The anxiousness of being back out there, and he got winded early on. That had as much to do with him leaving the game as anything. He came right back after they checked him. He was fine. We knew that was going to occur. I was trying to caution him all week about it to relax and play. There are ten other guys out there, do your job."