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Bengals' secondary is finally getting healthy

The SportsXchange

For the first time this season, including training camp, the Cincinnati Bengals could have a nearly full complement of defensive backs going into Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns.

All of the Cincinnati corners practiced Thursday, which was the first time this season that has happened. Terence Newman, who did not practice Wednesday due to a calf injury, was limited Thursday but is expected to make his third straight start.

Jason Allen, who has been in only one game so far due to a quad injury, was limited for the second straight day but could be available for backup duty. Adam Jones was limited due to a back injury but should be ready. He has been playing corner in nickel situations.

The most encouraging development was that first-round pick Dre Kirkpatrick was a full practice participant for the first time this season. Kirkpatrick was limited all last week but prior to that had not practiced since late August due to a nagging knee injury he suffered during a pre-training camp workout.

A healthy Bengals secondary should be vital considering they have had only one interception this season. In the first meeting against Cleveland on Sept. 16, rookie Brandon Weeden threw for 322 yards, which was a Browns rookie record.

"Right now, it's not falling our way," Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said on the lack of interceptions. "Hopefully you just keep tipping it up in the air. We've got to get more tips at the line of scrimmage and hopefully get more tips downfield and start converting them. But we've got to keep doing things correctly and stay poised in everything we're doing, throughout what we're doing. Just play within ourselves and our schemes, and everything will be fine and the ball will bounce back our way."
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