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Quick Hits: Sunny Forecast For Mixon; Price Re-Boots; Tez Returns

Marvin Lewis made it sound like Joltin' Joe Mixon is back for the Dolphins.
Marvin Lewis made it sound like Joltin' Joe Mixon is back for the Dolphins.

In the most positive weather forecast since Channel 5's Kevin Robinson riffed on the Cincinnati Labor Day weekend, head coach Marvin Lewis basically cleared running back Joe Mixon for the Bengals' return to Paul Brown Stadium (1 p.m.-Cincinnati's Channel 12) Sunday against the Dolphins.

Lewis is famously reticent when it comes to injuries and about a decade ago The Cincinnati Enquirer's Joe Reedy resorted to asking him about them in weather terms. The usual retort is "partly sunny or partly cloudy," but before Wednesday's practice Lewis pronounced on Mixon, "The sun is up. It's a bright sunny day out there. Joe has worked hard."

Mixon is 18 days off arthroscopic knee surgery and as his bee-line for A.J. Green after last Sunday's winning TD in Atlanta showed, he's ready. But Mixon is deferring to Lewis: "When they clear me, I'm ready." On Wednesday he took to the practice field right away and was listed as limited ...

The forecast on rookie center Billy Price was a bit cloudier. After his foot went under an exam Tuesday, they decided to keep the boot on him for two more weeks. That means he won't be ready for the Oct. 14 Steelers game. But he said there hasn't been a setback.

"Just taking extra precautions and making sure I come back for the rest of the season," Price said …

WILL linebacker Vontaze Burfict has returned from his NFL suspension and Lewis knew it Monday when someone picked him up from behind to say hello. Middle linebacker Preston Brown worked with Burfict in the spring and in training camp before an ankle injury iced him and he's been waiting for a game week with Burfict.

"He was one of my favorite linebackers to watch. I would always watch their games to see exactly what he was doing," Brown said. "To see how he goes through a week is going to be fun."

Lewis reverted to his more cautious self when saying "We'll see," if Burfict plays and how much against the Dolphins. But he did admit, "He'll give us a lift."

Burfict has a roster exemption for now, but they'll have to make a move before kickoff Sunday if he plays. When he took the practice field Monday he looked to be in good shape weight-wise. Maybe in the 255-260 range ...

It could be just a straight move when they put tight end Tyler Eifert (ankle) on season-ending injured reserve ...

Running back Giovani Bernard (knee), who missed the tail end of last Sunday's drive with general banged-upness, didn't practice. But don't look for one of the team's Ultimate Gamers to miss much more than that this week ...

Wide receiver John Ross apparently suffered a groin injury on his 39-yard touchdown catch Sunday. He wasn't sure after the game, but he went limited Wednesday. So did Preston Brown (shoulder), right end Michael Johnson (knee) and right guard Alex Redmond (shoulder).

Since Burfict is exempted, he doesn't have a status on the injury report.