Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones was cleared to resume practice Monday under a roster exemption, and the team could activate him at any time during the next three weeks.
Jones missed training camp and the first six weeks of the season while recovering from two surgical procedures on his neck to fix a bulging disc. He's hoping to be back on the 53-man roster for Sunday's game at Seattle, Cincinnati's first since coming off a bye week.
"I would think they know I'm ready to play," Jones said. "For the most part, I feel good. I hope they feel the same way."
The Bengals could activate Jones without having to cut a player. Running back Cedric Benson is suspended for the game in Seattle, serving his one-game penalty for violating the NFL's personal-conduct policy. Benson served five days in jail in Texas before the season started, settling two misdemeanor assault cases.
Benson's absence could have a bigger impact on the game than Jones' return. Cincinnati's defense has been its strong point during the surprising start, ranking first overall in the league for three of the last four weeks.
With Benson unavailable, third-year pro Bernard Scott is expected to make his third career start for the Bengals. Scott is more of an outside threat than Benson, who's at his best when running tackle-to-tackle. Scott has been playing a couple series each game and has 30 carries overall for 85 yards and one touchdown.
"We'll try a little bit different things here, but we're going to be similar in how we attack," Gruden said Monday. "If that means opening up formations a little bit to do it, we'll try that. We're not going to stop running the ball because they're good."
Notes:Bengals LB Rey Maualuga wore his pink cast on the left ankle while the rest of the team worked out Monday. A few hours later, he tweeted that he had the cast removed and he's "making progress." Maualuga severely sprained the ankle during practice and had to sit out a win over the Indianapolis Colts before the bye week. He's expected to miss the game in Seattle.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.