How tough is Bengals right end Michael Johnson?
Very. Despite hurting his foot late in the first half Sunday against Dallas on his shared sack with left end Carlos Dunlap, he played 75 percent of the snaps, or 54 plays. He was listed with a great toe injury and on Tuesday morning he emerged in the locker room wearing a boot while talking to reporters.
He didn't practice Tuesday and the bad news is the Bengals play Thursday night (8:20 p.m.-Cincinnati's Channel 12 and NFL Network) in Philadelphia. The good news is the Bengals have nine days off until they play in Pittsburgh. Also not working were running back Cedric Peerman (ankle) and kicker Mike Nugent (calf), and they look like they're headed to the inactive list for the second straight week but with hopes alive for the Steelers game.
And who knows about Johnson for Thursday? He hasn't missed a game in his career with 61 straight games.
All Lewis would say after Tuesday's two-hour workout on the grass fields is that "We'll see," but he indicated the injured guys are improving.
"They're doing well," Lewis said. "Nuge kicked the last few days. It feels pretty good."
Nugent is kicking in rehab but not in practice. Middle linebacker Rey Maualuga (shoulder, knee) went limited Tuesday after going full Monday with just a shoulder issue. Linebackers Dan Skuta (back) and Vontaze Burfict (shoulder) also went limited. Skuta was an upgrade over Monday and Burfict stayed the same.
But cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick (concussion) apparently didn't get the test he wanted because he sat out after going full Monday.
Philadelphia's best offensive lineman, former Bengals left guard Evan Mathis, surfaced on the injury report (ankle) Tuesday and didn't practice. Running back LeSean McCoy and quarterback Michael Vick both have concussions and were limited Tuesday but there are those in Philly that are going to be surprised if they're active. Eagles head coach Andy Reid indicated safety Kurt Coleman (chest), also limited Tuesday, is a longshot to play and he didn't this past Sunday.
BROWN READY: With Nugent still up in the air, Josh Brown is gearing for up his second game as a Bengal on Lincoln Financial Field's new sod. It should be no problem for Brown, a 10-year vet that has kicked everywhere in December. He says the worst surface he's kicked on is Cleveland in December, where there is virtually no grass.
MARVIN ALMOST: Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis told the Philly media Tuesday that he almost became the Eagles defensive coordinator in 1999 when Reid became the Eagles head coach. He said he didn't want to move his family and stayed in Baltimore as the Ravens defensive coordinator, but he and Reid have stayed close and bonded on a USO tour of Afghanistan a few years ago.
TV LINEUP: Thursday's game is on both Cincinnati's Channel 12 and the NFL Network. The NFL Network coverage starts at 6 p.m. featuring: Steve Cyphers reporting on Eagles head coach Andy Reid's legacy in Philadelphia with interviews from former quarterback Donovan McNabb, long-time Philadelphia sportswriter Ray Didinger, and Eagles special teams icon Val Sikahema.
Plus, Deion Sanders plays Santa Claus and gives gifts to NFL players while Mark Kriegel examines Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis's comeback. There's also an analysis on this weekend's 49ers-Patriots game as well as reports from Washington, Dallas and Chicago on the NFC Wild Card race.