Joe Burrow appeared to throw free and easy during the early part of Thursday's practice as the Bengals got their first post-game look at his dislocated throwing pinky finger.
But the other half of the Joe Show, running back Joe Mixon, didn't appear to be at Paul Brown Stadium for a second straight day and is apparently battling a bad cold.
Also not out there was rookie running back Chris Evans (ankle), so Burrow went through a series of traditional handoffs with running backs Samaje Perine and Trayveon Williams.
Also working was wide receiver Tee Higgins (ankle) after taking Wednesday off. Center Trey Hopkins and right tackle Riley Reiff worked for the second straight day after missing last Sunday's game.
Another day back in the lab. Check out some of the top images from the Bengals practice ahead of Week 14 against the San Francisco 49ers.
SLANTS AND SCREENS: Cornerback Trae Waynes (hamstring) also went for a second straight day after being on injured reserve since Oct. 11 and looked ready to activate for his third game as a Bengal in two years. That would give them a seven-year vet and former first-round pick with playoff experience coming off the bench.
"You look around the league and there's a lot of people that would love to have a guy like that in the bullpen right now," said defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo before Thursday's practice, "While it hasn't been ideal from a healthy standpoint, nobody is more frustrated than him. But he's feeling much better and looking forward to seeing what he does today and how the week goes … I just think you have a veteran corner who has been a starter in this league and has been productive." …
Anarumo doesn't have that kind of guy at linebacker, where they're trying to replace middle linebacker Logan Wilson (shoulder). The most experienced backer is the other starting backer, third-year-man Germaine Pratt.
"We will roll some guys through there," Anarumo said. "It's something you hope and pray never happens to a guy like that at that position where he was just doing such a great job of commanding the huddle, getting guys set at the line and then his athleticism we have all seen and the way he approaches the game.
"The group will have to do it. I will say this, Germaine Pratt is, along with Logan, a great communicator. The guys trust in everything he does and says. D-line react to what he says immediately. I know we are confident in our guys and they will step up and do a good job." …
Slot receiver Tyler Boyd had his biggest day and longest catches in two months with 85 yards total that included a 32-yarder last week last week against the Chargers.
"It was just that specific time of the game where coach diced up the perfect play," Boyd said before Thursday's practice. "A choice route in man coverage, which I was able to utilize my ability to break right, left or sit. I had options to create a throw and that's what I did. I created a throw and Joe delivered a great strike to me and I did the rest. Had yards after the catch and I think that's what really got us going. I think I pride myself in wanting to be the guy to get the offense going. Not necessarily be the guy to get the targets and things like that, but I know I'm a guy that can get things rolling and I want everyone else to feed off me and continue to make plays based off of what I did." …