Suddenly, the Bengals receivers are a very thin group. With A.J. Green already sitting out practice under the concussion protocol, they put Dane Sanzenbacher on season-ending injured reserve Wednesday and replaced him with Cobi Hamilton from the practice. And James Wright (knee) didn't practice after not playing in the last four games.
That left them with Hamilton, Mohamed Sanu, Brandon Tate, and Greg Little at practice. It's the first time Hamilton is on the active roster for a game since the Bengals drafted him in the sixth round in 2013.
The Bengals said Sanzenbacher suffered a concussion during last Sunday night's game in Pittsburgh, when he replaced Green after Green got hit in the head. With about six minutes left in the game, Sanzenbacher recorded his first NFL interception off a fake punt.... Along not working with Green and Wright were tight end Jermaine Gresham (back) and running back Cedric Peerman (concussion). Cornerback Leon Hall had a veteran's off day. Green did attend practice but just watched while Peerman and Wright worked on the side. Cornerback Terence Newman, who didn't play because of the flu last week, was back at practice.
Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis says he told his team it didn't have to answer questions about past post-season losses because those were different teams. "That wasn't you," he told them.
"I'm tired of answering the dumb question," said Lewis, before he caught himself with a smile. "Excuse me, not a dumb question. I'm tired of answering the very important question I know is going to be asked. It's a very relevant question."
Lewis is tired of it "because we have to wait until Sunday to answer it," and he knows the only way to stop the question is to win, he said…
Safety George Iloka said before practice in the University of Cincinnati bubble that the season turned around not after the 27-0 to the Colts on Oct. 19, but after the 24-3 loss to the Browns two and half weeks later: "After that game we had three straight away games. Road games are hard. It was like, man, you could possibly lose four in a row and that's pretty bad. So I think guys knew. We responded winning three in a row away and that's what you have to do in this league." Asked about the criticism surrounding quarterback Andy Dalton stemming from his post-season struggles, Iloka made a prediction:
"I have full confidence in him. I have a feeling, for some reason, he's going to come out this game and kill it."