Tight end Tyler Eifert (concussion) and safety George Iloka (groin) didn't work for a second straight day Thursday morning and that usually indicates a Sunday inactivation.
Cincinnati Bengals host practice at Paul Brown Stadium practice fields 12/17/2015
Backup rookie tackle Jake Fisher, also in the concussion protocol, didn't work at all after doing some rehab drills on the side Wednesday. It's rare for a player in the concussion protocol to be cleared this late in the week in time to play. That would mark the third straight week that Eifert, tied for the NFL scoring lead, has either missed a game or played in only the first drive.
Linebacker Vontaze Burfict also sat out Thursday's practice, but that's been pretty much his schedule as they keep an eye on his surgically-repaired knee.
The good is news that cornerback Adam Jones (foot) started practiced for the second straight day and went limited. He said on Wednesday he's no longer putting his foot in a boot or cast and is optimistic.
Fellow cornerbacks Leon Hall (back) and Dre Kirkpatrick (knee) went limited Thursday, but right end Michael Johnson (back) practiced full after missing Wednesday, as did left tackle Andrew Whitworth (knee) and center Russell Bodine (finger) after going limited Wednesday.
"Obviously I'm not at 100 percent right now, but just trying to get back to help my team,' said Jones, having a Pro Bowl type year despite missing two of the last four games. "I want to play football. It sucks being on the sidelines. I always tell my wife, what have you done for me (lately), and that's how it goes in the league. I'm a big believer in that and I work extremely hard. We'll see how it goes. I'm eager for the challenge."
It looks like he'll go, but there is also some caution. There is a big game in Denver and this is a contract year.
"Everybody knows I want to play, but I have to do what's right for the team and myself also," he said. "So we'll see how it goes this week and see how I feel.
"It feels better than last week, last week (when it) was pretty much a nine or a 10 when it came to pain. I feel a lot better, immobilized for four to five days, in a soft cast for two days, building my strength back and we'll see how it goes."
If he plays, he'll see two former Ravens receivers he's well acquainted with in burner Torrey Smith and grinder Anquan Boldin. Boldin has been converting third downs against the Bengals, it seems, for centuries. Boldin has been playing against them since head coach Marvin Lewis' first year with the team in 2003 when he had six catches for 54 yards and a TD in an Arizona win over the Bengals.
"Torrey can stretch the field. Boldin is just a football player," Jones said. "He's going to compete every play. We just have to do what we do. Cover the back end and let guys up front rush. If we do that I think it will be a nice day for us.
"(Boldin) and Steve (Smith) are a lot similar. Steve might be a little quicker and faster, but the guy just competes. He's a pit bull. He competes out there."