Bengals rule out two starters for Texans game

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Bengals rule out two starters for Texans game

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CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 02: Michael Johnson #93 of the Cincinnati Bengals celebrates during the 23-20 victory against the Buffalo Bills at Paul Brown Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The Cincinnati Bengals will be without two starters for Thursday night’s nationally televised game against the Houston Texans.

Defensive end Michael Johnson (concussion) and right guard Trey Hopkins (knee) are out, while starting safety Shawn Williams (elbow) and tight end C.J. Uzomah (ankle) have been upgraded to questionable. Rookie first-round pick John Ross (knee) is questionable for the second week in a row.

Williams and Uzomah returned to practice this week after suffering injuries in training camp. Uzomah went down in practice Aug. 7, while Williams left the Aug. 19 preseason game against Kansas City.

Ross left the Aug. 31 preseason finale against Indianapolis.

The questionable designation means a player has a 50 percent likelihood of playing, but it would be surprising to see Williams, Uzomah or Ross on the field Thursday night given the minimal practice time they’ve had in a short week.

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