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Lewis relieved to see Bengals avoid injuries

The SportsXchange

CINCINNATI -- With the end of minicamp this week, Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis was pleased with how his team's 11-week offseason program went. Besides getting through revisions in the playbook, the thing Lewis was happiest about was there were no major injuries.

"I think we've improved mentally and physically. We've improved with personnel and we've been fortunate not to have a longer-term injury," Lewis said. "We've had some soft-tissue injuries and so forth, but not to have a longer-term injury so far is real fortunate."

A couple exceptions on who might not be ready are running back Bernard Scott and guard Travelle Wharton, who are still rehabbing from ACL injuries, along with defensive end Jamaal Anderson and fullback Chris Pressley, who suffered quad injuries last season.

--Tight end Tyler Eifert is the only Bengals draft pick who hasn't signed his contract, but that should happen before the start of camp on July 24. During offseason workouts, Eifert was lined up in a variety of spots, including as the slot receiver.

Eifert said of the offseason workouts: "I think it went well for me and as a group. I definitely learned a lot, that's for sure. I'm just talking about the offense in general. We worked a lot on footwork and blocking. I've definitely gotten better."

--The other thing that Lewis is hoping to avoid is off-field incidents between now and the start of training camp. Cornerback Adam Jones was involved in one outside a Cincinnati bar on June 5.

"I talked to our guys. It's just part of the focus of anything, to stay away from the knuckleheads. Know your surroundings and stay away from people you don't quite know and don't have your best interests at heart," Lewis said. "Unfortunately, wherever they go people know who they are, and you're not going to win a confrontation. However wrong the other side of the confrontation is, you're going to have a hard time coming out of it looking good."
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