Bengals Thursday Thoughts: Sick Bay

The 2-0 Bengals are relatively healthy, with a few key exceptions, as they get ready to head to Baltimore for the Ravens' home opener. Andre Smith and Pat Sims missed Thursday's practice, but A.J. Green and Reggie Nelson returned. Here's the lowdown.

The unbeaten Bengals are doing it on defense without Pro Bowl linebacker Vontaze Burfict, who will likely miss half a season following offseason microfracture knee surgery.

Rookie offensive tackle Cedric Ogbuehi is with him on the injured lists, but Ogbuehi wasn't expecting to start right away, anyway.

Other than those two players, Cincinnati has so far avoided the injury bugaboo that crashed last year's party following a 3-0 start.

But, as they say, it's early.

Even so, aches and pains have been at a minimum.

Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Green (knee) returned to the practice field Thursday, and went full-go. As did starting left tackle Andrew Whitworth (back) for the first time since the start of the season.

Also at practice Thursday were starting safety Reggie Nelson (groin) and rotational defensive lineman Wallace Gilberry (thigh).

Rookie backup defensive tackle Marcus Hardison (knee) returned to limited practice. It was his first work since getting hurt in the pre-season finale.

On the bad news front, defensive tackle Pat Sims (hip) didn’t work out Thursday for the second day in a row, which could mean that tackle Brandon Thompson plays his first game of the season Sunday. Kickoff is 1 p.m.

Also out Thursday was starting right tackle Andre Smith (buttocks), but he is expected to play against the Ravens (0-2).

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