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Quick Hits: Hubbard Back; A.J. Continues Rehab; Players Focus on Pats' Tape; Mixon Agrees With Getting Pulled

Sam Hubbard, seen last month in practice, was back on the field Wednesday.
Sam Hubbard, seen last month in practice, was back on the field Wednesday.

After missing the first game of his two-year NFL career last Sunday in Cleveland, right end Sam Hubbard (knee) was back on the practice Field Wednesday as the Bengals began preparations for this Sunday's game (1 p.m.-Cincinnati's Local 12) against the Super Bowl champion Patriots at Paul Brown Stadium.

- While Hubbard, who was limited, and his mates were outside on the grass, wide receiver A.J. Green (ankle) quietly continued his rehab indoors. Green politely warded off questions following the Wednesday morning walk-through, a sign that he may not play this week. Usually, if he has a shot to play, he talks.

Through the lens as the Bengals practice to gear up for a Week 15 matchup against the New England Patriots.

- ScoutGate or DotComGate, whatever you wish, didn't get much of a reaction from the Bengals locker room. As reports surfaced that the NFL isn't going to come down hard on the Patriots for violating a league rule by filming the Bengals sideline during last Sunday's game in Cleveland, players basically shrugged.

Quarterback Andy Dalton offered no comment and said it hasn't been a topic of locker-room conversation. And center Trey Hopkins said the only the film he's interested in is the tape of the Patriots' versatile top-ranked defense.

"That has nothing to do with me," Hopkins said. "That's outside of my control. The NFL can do whatever they want to do with that. I'm just watching the tape trying to figure out who I'm blocking."

_Hopkins praised how running back Joe Mixon fought through the disappointment of the first half of the season to get the Bengals run game into the NFL top ten for the last month of play. Mixon is also on the same page with head coach Zac Taylor even when Taylor sat him down for a few snaps in Cleveland on the way to his career-high 146 yards. That came early in a 3-0 game when Mixon was given 15 yards for a semi head-butt of Browns cornerback Greedy Williams post-snap. Two player later it resulted in a Dalton pick-six off third-and-23 and the Browns' first score.

"I thought it was a good thing for Zac to actually pull me to the side and notice what's going on and what kind of game it's going to be," Mixon said. "I thought it was a great thing that he did and I'm glad he did it. At the end of the day I got up there and sat down and I apologized to all of them (saying) 'I'll make it up. Don't even trip.I thought it was a good move from him."

Taylor reiterated his Protect-The-Team culture.

"He certainly knew he had made a mistake. That was very clear," Taylor said. "We made the decision to sit him for some snaps. We knew that he knew he made a mistake and he wouldn't do it again. We had the trust factor there. At the same point, he hurt the team so it's time to sit down a few snaps."

_Wide receiver John Ross (foot) went limited Wednesday and they've really got to be careful there with Auden Tate going on injured reserve Tuesday.