Stoic Joe Burrow said his dislocated throwing pinky feels "good enough," for Sunday's AFC demolition derby game (4:05 p.m.-Cincinnati) in Denver. Considering he sifted the 49ers on 74 percent passing for 348 yards a few days ago, that sounds pretty good.
But head coach Zac Taylor said he won't practice Wednesday and he'll do a little more Thursday before opening it up Friday, just like they managed it last week…
With both clubs heading into Sunday 7-6 and the Bengals' last four games against AFC foes with seven or eight wins, Burrow said before Wednesday's practice what everyone knows.
"Going forward every game is a must-win if we want to get to the playoffs," Burrow said. "You know, we got to control what we can control and if we go out and win all the games that we're capable of winning, we control our destiny."
No question, Burrow says. Denver, allowing the second fewest points and seventh fewest yards, has the best secondary they've faced this season.
"I think top to bottom," Burrow said. "You look at the film and a lot of weeks you can point to this guy like 'Hey we can attack this guy.' They don't have any of those guys on this defense. Top to bottom, they are probably the deepest we've played."
- Although he's going to put him on the injury report limited this week, Taylor is optimistic double-digit sacker Trey Hendrickson can play Sunday.
- Same with running back Chris Evans (hamstring), who has missed the last couple of games. That may help them at kick return, but not punt return. Taylor had no answer Wednesday but said they've got an idea who they want to return punts as roll out various guys in Wednesday's practice. Slot receiver Tyler Boyd, who has 50 catches, is not exactly an ideal option back there and indications are he won't be the regular guy.
- Look for Isaiah Prince to get his second start at right tackle in three weeks. Taylor called Riley Reiff (ankle) doubtful after he left last Sunday's game in the third quarter when he re-aggravated the injury.
- Practice squad member Keaton Sutherland is the center Wednesday with both Trey Hopkins and Trey Hill sent home with illnesses. They didn't test for COVID, but it is the old abundance of caution thing that has served them well during the pandemic, where they are knocking on wood since they haven't lost a starter all year.
- In that vein, Taylor said he'll look at possibly tightening up some COVID protocols around the building, such as maybe having bigger meeting spaces or a few more virtual meetings.