Keith Rivers (55) and Robert Geathers (91) celebrate following a win against the Pittsburgh Steelers on September 27, 2009 (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Returning LBs: Rey Maualuga Says He'll Play Against Steelers, Keith Rivers Cleared to Practice

UPDATE- Though the Bengals official Twitter account originally tweeted that Rivers would practice today, but it was later revealed by other reporters that Rivers would not be practicing. He is, however, medically cleared to practice. The 3-week roster exemption begins today. When asked about Rivers’ status, Marvin Lewis said, “He’s progressing“, but wouldn’t elaborate.

Middle Linebacker Rey Maualuga claims he’ll be ready to play against the Steelers this week. He’s been out with an ankle sprain the past 3 games and did not practice last week. Rey told reporters today:

“I think I will be ready this week … but it’s up to the coaches “

The return of Rey Maualuga will be greatly welcomed by the team. Dan Skuta and Brandon Johnson have done a satisfactory job filling in for him but Skuta’s lack of experience and speed allowed Chris Johnson to break off a few big plays last week. In any case, Rey still needs to start practicing before the coaches can even begin to decide if he’s ready to play.

In other linebacker news, 2008 9th overall draft pick Keith Rivers will finally return to practice today. He had been on the PUP List for a wrist injury suffered in the offseason.

Rivers had started at outside linebacker for the last two years, but when the Bengals learned of his offseason injury, they immediately acquired Thomas Howard and Manny Lawson in free agency. The Bengals have a three week roster exemption to decide if Rivers will join the active roster this year. They may find that the LB corps does not need him this year, and they could put him on IR to save a roster spot. But, if he does get activated, my money is on the release of LB Vincent Rey. Vincent is a promising player, but the team doesn’t need 8 linebackers on the roster at once.


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Tags: Keith Rivers Rey Maualuga

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