Although tight end Tyler Eifert was limited in both practices this week with a sore back, Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis didn't rule him out of Sunday's game (1 p.m.-Cincinnati's Channel 12) against the Browns at Paul Brown Stadium after Friday morning's walk-through. He said it won't be a game-time decision, but he'll make the call this weekend on whether Eifert plays for the first time this year.
Eifert, who said Thursday he could play, was on the verge of returning two-and-a-half weeks ago coming off ankle surgery, but hurt his back in the Oct. 3 practice. He was listed as full for the first time, but it was only for a walk through.
"He's done good job," Lewis said. "He had time and had done some things prior to his back getting sore. I think he feels good about thing and we'll see how are with everybody else."
Browns cornerback Joe Haden (groin), A.J. Green's toughest foe, is doubtul after not practicing all week. Wide receiver Terrelle Pryor (hamstring), their leading receiver, is listed as questionable after missing Wednesday and Thursday and going limited Friday.
Pryor is one of the more unique stories in the league and the Bengals had a front-row seat. He has gone from NFL journeyman quarterback to emerging as one of the league's hottest wide receivers this year.
Browns head coach Hue Jackson drafted Pryor out Ohio State in his lone year as the head coach in Oakland in 2011 and when Jackson got fired at the end of the season, Pryor was also doomed. One of the most exciting Buckeyes to ever play, Pryor couldn't hook on as a quarterback and Jackson brought him to Cincinnati in the spring of 2015 a week after the draft. As a favor, really.
There was no room at the inn because the Bengals were taking only three quarterbacks into training camp. But when Jackson suggested he try wide receiver Pryor balked and the Bengals cut him after a month.
"Hue brought it up to him. Terrelle still wanted to pursue being a quarterback when we talked to him, and we waived him," Lewis said this week. "It wasn't anything that he had done … Then he went up to New England to visit and then to Cleveland and suddenly he decided he was going to be a wide receiver. You have to credit Terrelle Pryor, the athlete that he was, because you can't have a bigger fan than me here. I've watched him since high school and when he was at Ohio State. I'm excited for him, and we know how Hue feels about him. He's done a great job of making this transition and playing very well at wide receiver."
For his part, Jackson isn't taking credit for pulling his top receiver (33 catches, three TDs) out of virtually thin air.
"It had to be his choice," Jackson said of receiver instead of QB. "He made that choice here in Cleveland and when I got here we connected and talked and he knew this was going to be his challenge and what he wanted to try to accomplish and he set out to do it. And I had nothing to do with that. He did this himself."
So the Browns' current 1-2 wide receivers in catches and yards are former Bengals Pryor and Andrew Hawkins.