Updated: 3:15 p.m.
Right guard Kevin Zeitler not only showed up with helmet in hand, he also wore it at Thursday morning's practice in Paul Brown Stadium for the first time since he injured his foot Nov. 10. Given that there's just one more heavy practice left before Sunday's game at sold-out PBS against the Colts (1 p.m.-Cincinnati's Channel 12) and that he was listed as limited, speculation continues the Bengals will leave Mike Pollak at guard, Andrew Whitworth at left guard, and give Zeitler more time to work back. But stay tuned.
Zeitler was upbeat after practice, If only because he was moving around.
"All I've done is lift like crazy for the last three weeks. I haven't been able to move," Zeitler said. "I felt pretty good today. It's just nice to get work on timing, rhythm, communication again. We'll see how it goes."
Whitworth (calf) and wide receiver Andrew Hawkins (hamstring) were limited for the second straight day Thursday. Wide receiver A.J. Green (groin), cornerback Adam Jones (hip), middle backer Vontaze Burfict (ankle) and tight end Tyler Eifert (knee) were all full after being limited Wednesday. WEATHER MAN:Head coach Marvin Lewis has a career as a weatherman. He's seen it all in the AFC North while working in Cincinnati, Baltimore and Pittsburgh, and he's become adept at moving practice around the bad stuff. He no doubt has his eye on Friday's forecast from the National Weather Service in Wilmington, Ohio that is calling for downtown Cincinnati to be in the throes of a wintry mix by the time the 11 a.m. practice starts. Temperatures are going to be around 32 degrees with a mix of sleet and freezing rain and snow coming later in the day.
Which pretty much mirrors Sunday's game-time forecast. With temperatures again hovering around the freezing mark, there's a 60 percent chance of snow and freezing rain with winds out of the northeast at 10 miles per hour.
And that's just fine for Lewis in this matchup of division leaders. In the last six Decembers at PBS, the Bengals are 10-3 in the elements that Lewis says typifies his team. He is now calling it "Bengal weather." According to Elias, the Bengals are 10-7 under Lewis in regular-season games that start at 35 degrees or lower.
"It's going to be a good Bengal day on Sunday. We're going to get after it in Bengal weather," Lewis said Wednesday. "That's part of us. That's part of our toughness. It's just the way we're put together. We say it all the time; when you walk in here you know you've got to work hard. If you don't work hard, you stand out like a sore thumb. You're going to get cast to the side because you can't hang here. Either get with us or get on. That's the way it's going to be."