The Bengals are one of seven teams that haven't allowed a J.J. Watt sack. But that doesn't mean they're not crossing their fingers when the 3-5 Texans come to Paul Brown Stadium Monday (8:30 p.m.-Cincinnati's Channel 5 and ESPN) for a shot at the unbeaten Bengals.
After Tuesday's practice, Bengals offensive line coach Paul Alexander, who has coached in the NFL since 1992, compared him to Hall-of-Fame pass rushers from the '80s and '90s in Reggie White and Bruce Smith.
"That's who he is," Alexander said. "He's a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer. He's one of the best defensive players that I've seen in my 25 years.
"Big, strong, explosive, quick, reactive, football skills, you name it," Alexander said. "He can accelerate, he can cover ground quickly, he has tremendous length, he has it all."
CED, PORTER BACK: Linebacker Sean Porter, one of the unluckiest draft choices in Bengals history, returned to practice Tuesday and it was rather fitting his return was overshadowed by the first NFL workout for first-round pick Cedric Ogbuehi.
Porter just hasn't been able to get a break. A fourth-round pick in 2013, Porter made his NFL debut last year on Oct. 5 in New England and tore his ACL on the opening kickoff. That came after a rookie preseason he suffered a season-ending torn labrum in a training camp practice following the week of his first pre-season game.
Porter, who is on the physically unable to perform list (PUP), is in the same boat as Ogbuehi, on the injured reserve/non-football injury list as he comes from back from an injury he didn't suffer with the club. The team has a 21-day window starting with Tuesday's first practice to decide if they'll be activated or put back on season-ending injured reserve.
REY, TEZ IN PLACE: Middle linebacker Rey Maualuga (calf), who missed Thursday night's game, came back practice Tuesday. WILL backer Vontaze Burfict (knee) also worked, a good sign after he limped off the field in the first quarter but came back to play the rest of the way. The Bengals have had just one snap of Burfict and Maualuga since Burfict's return in the last two games.
ANDRE, ZEITLER OUT: Right tackle Andre Smith (concussion), who missed Thursday's game, and right guard Kevin Zeitler, who tweaked a foot during the game, didn't practice Tuesday. But Zeitler went through some rehab drills on the side.
They'll be a better grip of the Bengals injury situation on Thursday, the first of their two biggest practice of the week following Wednesday's day off.
JESSE ALSO RETURNS: Also back at practice was civil rights activist The Rev. Jesse Jackson. Jackson, a big fan of Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis, always makes it a point to stop by Paul Brown Stadium during his visits to Cincinnati. He and his aides got a golf cart ride around practice from Bengals president Mike Brown.