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Smith, Brewer in limbo

8-21-01, 8:45 p.m.


GEORGETOWN, Ky. _ Quarterback Akili Smith and rookie tight end Sean Brewer passed their medical tests Tuesday, but their playing status is still up in the air.

A magnetic resonance imaging test (MRI) on Smith's throwing arm showed nothing new, but he continues to have a mild case of tendinitis and is questionable for Saturday's game against Buffalo.

Brewer remained a candidate for season-ending injured reserve even though a visit to a Philadelphia specialist revealed he doesn't have a sports hernia. But he does have a muscle strain in

the groin/abdomen area that will shelve him for four to six more weeks.

Brewer, a third-round pick, was upbeat Monday after cutting and planting on the injury for the first time since not working since Aug. 1. But Jim Lippincott, Bengals' director of pro/college personnel, said Brewer is being considered for the IR list.

"There were some movements where he grimaced in pain and others where it caught him," Lippincott said. "There's no doubt the kid would play through it if you asked him to. But we have to ask how good are we with an injured tight end?"

Smith hasn't thrown since the Aug. 10 win in Detroit, when he took a hit at some point on the shoulder. Bengals trainer Paul Sparling said the MRI didn't reveal anything different than the one Smith took back in May when he had a tired arm.

"It's still just a mild case of tendinitis and he's day-to-day," Sparling said.

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