Updated: Gio limited; Whit looks ready; Lewis on Miami drama

Posted Nov 6, 2013

Bengals running back Giovani Bernard, sidelined late against the Dolphins with an injured rib, was on the field at the beginning of practice.

Giovani Bernard

Updated: 4:30 p.m.

» Left tackle Andrew Whitworth sat out Wednesday's practice but it's not related to his knee issue and it appears he'll be ready to play Sunday's game (1 p.m.-Cincinnati's Channel 12) in Baltimore. The idea is for Whitworth to take off Wednesdays late in the season, a perk for a lot of veterans in an effort to recharge their bodies.

Running back Giovani Bernard, sidelined late against the Dolphins with an injured rib, was on the field at the beginning of practice Wednesday and listed as limited, as was backup middle linebacker Michael Boley after he missed last week with a hamstring issue. Middle linebacker Rey Maualuga (knee, concussion) didn't work and neither did defensive tackle Devon Still (elbow), so it's looking like they won't be ready for Sunday.

Also, tight end Jermaine Gresham (groin) and right guard Kevin Zeitler (hamstring) were limited.

» Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis got the "Miami Question" at his Wednesday news conference, and in the wake of the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin meltdown he drew on his own experiences with team leaders starting with Domata Peko and Andrew Whitworth.

"It's something that's gone a little too far," Lewis said. "Unfortunately, that's something that came up negatively that didn't get nipped in the bud. I can 100 percent tell you that Andrew, Domata and our guys in the locker room, they know there are certain traditions we've got with the rookies but you can't let things get out of hand too far. We don't want to be degrading, demeaning because, you know what? We need those guys."

» Bengals wide receiver Ryan Whalen, who played with Martin at Stanford for three seasons, has texted him down through the years but has held off on getting in touch with him until the onslaught subsides. But he says he'll reach out at an appropriate time while continuing to pray for him.

"He's a nice guy, good teammate, good player, and I was really surprised to hear what happened down there," Whalen said. "He's not a sensitive, soft guy or anything anyone might be saying."

» Now that Atkins is shelved for the year with a torn ACL in his right knee, rookie end Margus Hunt, like all of the defensive linemen, are going to be asked to do more than usual. Going off the Miami game after Atkins was hurt, that would indicate he'll be working some at tackle on passing downs.

It's a challenge for the 6-8 Hunt, who has been working all season to play low on the perimeter and now has to get even lower.

"It's a lot more compact, a lot less freedom to work with," Hunt said before practice Wednesday. "It's harder for me because usually the guards are a lot shorter than the tackles, so I have to really focus on keeping my pads down."

» Atkins surfaced long enough in the locker room before Wednesday's practice to get his crutches at his locker and go home. He politely declined interviews but thanked the media for offering best wishes for a training camp return.

» In the wake of the losses of their two best defenders, Atkins and cornerback Leon Hall, Lewis put in front of his team this week the injuries the last four Super Bowl champions have suffered on the way to the title. 


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