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Wednesday notes: Hall out as Bengals mull slot; Windy forecast


As expected, the Bengals are heading into Thursday night's game (8:25-Cincinnati's Channel 5 or NFL Network) heavily battered with starting cornerback Leon Hall (concussion) ruled out and starting right tackle Andre Smith (ankle) and starting running back Giovani Bernard (hip, shoulder)  slotted as doubtful  for Cleveland at Paul Brown Stadium.

Plus, two more starters, tight end Jermaine Gresham (knee) and cornerback Terence Newman (chest) were listed as probable even though they were limited in Wednesday's practice. Defensive lineman Robert Geathers (shoulder) was also limited but called questionable.

Rookie cornerback Darqueze Dennard, who had been filling in for Hall in the slot when healthy, is coming back from missing last Sunday's win over the Jaguars with a hamstring problem. He is listed as probable after going full Wednesday, but they could also take a look at Dre Kirkpatrick in there or one of the starters, Newman or Adam Jones, all who have more experience than Dennard's 39 career scrimmage snaps.

Right guard Kevin Zeitler, who missed last week's game when he re-aggravated a calf injury, was back going full Wednesday, is probable,  and is expected to start. Look for Marshall Newhouse to make his first Bengals start at tackle in place of Smith. Newhouse, who started as a tight end against Tennessee, started 31 games with the Packers before signing with the Bengals this year.

WEATHER CHECK: Hold on to your hats. The National Weather Service in Wilmington, Ohio, is calling for a breezy night of football Thursday with steady 15-20 mile-per-hour winds out of the northwest gusting at times to 25-30. There's a 40-percent chance of rain for the game that starts in the low 40s and ends at about 40 degrees.

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