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Bengals don't expect to miss Marvin Jones, George Iloka for long

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CINCINNATI -- There were three notable absences and three more partial absences during the start of the Cincinnati Bengals' organized team activities (OTAs) Tuesday. It appears nearly all of them are relatively minor.

Only one has a level of uncertainty about it. Defensive end Margus Hunt missed the entire practice for an undisclosed reason. He was seen at Paul Brown Stadium not long after practice began, despite not participating in the workout on the practice fields across from the stadium. It's not clear for now if he'll be practicing at all this week, let alone during the next three weeks of OTAs.

His five other teammates who were either absent or limited Tuesday could be back relatively quickly.

Safety George Iloka wasn't present for practice, either, but he was in the locker room afterward. He expects to practice soon, possibly this week.

"When I'm out there, I'm out there," Iloka said. "It's nothing serious."

Iloka's presence at the stadium should have abated any fears he was about to be in a contract dispute with the team. One of 26 Bengals entering the final years of their contracts, Iloka had a reason to not even show up in Cincinnati right now if he really didn't want to.

Along with Hunt and Iloka, defensive tackle Devon Still didn't practice. It appears he was still in Philadelphia, where he has spent all offseason taking care of his 5-year-old daughter, Leah, who is in remission from a Stage 4 cancer and going through treatments to reinvigorate her immune system. It was during the Bengals' OTAs last June that Still originally found out she had a tumor.

As for Tuesday's partial absentees, the list included receiver Marvin Jones, offensive tackle Andre Smith and linebacker Rey Maualuga. Smith didn't participate in 11-on-11 drills but was part of the walk-throughs and installment portions of the practice. He just spent the offseason recovering from a torn triceps and likely is getting eased back into action. Maualuga said he went through a recent hamstring injury and may have been sidelined by coaches out of an abundance of caution.

Jones' case was a little different. The fourth-year receiver who missed all of last season with foot and ankle injuries said he wasn't cleared of a physical last week that would have permitted him to practice Tuesday.

"I'm good, I just have to clear the physical," Jones said.

Jones tweaked a hamstring around the time physicals were occurring last week. According to him, the necessary doctor wasn't in town when he needed another evaluation to be eligible for this week's practices.

"It's nothing to be alarmed or worried about," Jones said.

Jones was going for his re-evaluation when the locker room closed to media. Instead of practicing with the team, he spent the first day of OTAs going through conditioning drills on a side field with linebackers Vontaze Burfict and Sean Porter, who are still a ways away from being fully recovered from their own injuries.

Jones is expecting a challenge when he does get to practice regularly again.

"Obviously I've been training hard and doing other stuff, but putting back-to-back-to-back-to-back days of running around and doing stuff like that, I have to adjust," Jones said, referencing his tweaked hamstring.

Receivers coach James Urban views these next few weeks as important ones for Jones.

"No matter what way you look at it, he hasn't played football for a year, and so there is rust," Urban said. "And the only way to knock off the rust is to be out there."

It seems he will be soon.