Quick hits: Nickerson waived to make room for Burfict; Shawn Williams returns; Garrett hopeful

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In order to make room on the roster for Vontaze Burfict the Bengals waived after Thursday's practice fellow linebacker Hardy Nickerson, a heavily-pursued undrafted free agent from Illinois that impressed the Bengals enough to make the Opening Day roster. Nickerson, a middle linebacker, played in all three games on special teams. If he clears waivers they'll most likely try to sign him to the practice squad.

Starting safety Shawn Williams (knee) returned to practice Thursday in limited fashion and the other starting safety George Iloka (hamstring) went full.  but tight end Tyler Eifert (back), wide receiver John Ross (knee), backup linebacker Jordan Evans (hamstring), and backup safety Derron Smith (ankle) sat for the second straight day and likely won't play Sunday (1 p.m.-Cincinnati's Channel 12) in Cleveland. A host of regulars were limited for the second straight day, running back Giovani Bernard (thigh), left end Carlos Dunlap (neck), wide receiver Brandon LaFell (knee), right guard Trey Hopkins (knee) and wide receiver Cody Core (ribs).

When the Cleveland media met with rookie pass rusher Myles Garrett late Thursday afternoon after his meetings, it found the NFL's overall No. 1 draft pick saddled with a cold but optimistic he could play on a limited pitch count Sunday on passing downs. After a terrific preseason Garrett suffered a high ankle sprain the week of the opener and has yet to make his NFL debut. Without him the Browns have just six sacks in three games.

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