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News » Cincinnati Bengals Strategy and Personnel 2008-12-11

Cincinnati Bengals Strategy and Personnel 2008-12-11

Cincinnati Bengals Strategy and Personnel 2008-12-11

--QB Carson Palmer will miss his 10th game of the season -- and his ninth in a row -- when the Bengals face Washington. The cause is a right (throwing) elbow injury that he sustained Sept. 21 at the Giants.

"He's done well with his throwing on the side, and everything is encouraging, but he has not practiced with us for a while, and he's still not 100 percent," Lewis said.

But Palmer has not been ruled out for the last two games, and even if he doesn't play again in 2008, the last few weeks have seen promising signs that he can recover without surgery and be ready for 2009 offseason work. Palmer said on Dec. 7 that he has thrown a football as far as 20 to 25 yards, after starting in the 10-yard range.

"Nothing 100 percent yet; working my way into it," Palmer said. "I'm taking it slowly, hoping to throw more and more balls as I get cleared to do."

Palmer said he has been pain-free while resuming moderate throwing.

He is still hoping to play this season.

--WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh came through the weekend in the same spot as the previous week on the league's top receptions chart. He's still within striking distance of defending the league title he shared last year, sitting seven catches out of the lead and three catches out of second place.

It's an all-AFC affair, with New England's Wes Welker in the lead at 96 catches, followed by Houston's Andre Johnson at 92 and Houshmandzadeh at 89. Welker climbed into the top spot last week with a 12-catch game at Seattle. Johnson dropped to second place, with only four catches at Green Bay. And Houshmandzadeh had eight catches at Indianapolis.

Welker shared the league title with Houshmandzadeh in 2007, both with 112. Houshmandzadeh became the first Bengal to win and/or share an NFL receptions crown.

--DE Antwan Odom, who has missed the past four games because of the shoulder injury, said Wednesday that he will play Sunday.

"I want to go out here the last three games and play as hard as I can and make some plays and get ready for next year," said Odom, who has just two sacks.

"It's been pretty rough emotionally because you have to sit around and watch these guys. I wish I could have played the whole season with everybody. I guess I have to take what I can get."

--LB Rashad Jeanty, announced Tuesday by the Bengals as their winner of the Ed Block Courage Award, said he was unaware of the significance of the honor until coaches explained it to him.

"It humbled me how much my teammates and the people around the locker room thought of me," he said. "It's definitely an honor for your peers to recognize you for your work."

--S Mike Doss joined the Bengals and will wear No. 44. The team announced it had signed him Tuesday.

"I just feel blessed. It's a great opportunity to play in Ohio for one of the Ohio teams, being born and raised in Ohio (Canton) I just feel really honored and privileged to join the Cincinnati organization," said Doss, who sustained a serious knee injury with Indianapolis in 2006 and then signed with Minnesota in 2007.

"I trained everyday and kept my faith and realized being in Columbus, Ohio, working out every day and helping out with the Buckeyes and continue to push and, with the help of my agent, hit every team every week and just figuring out what opportunities are coming up, and a couple workouts and try to land somewhere, and finally got an opportunity here in Cincinnati."

GAME PLAN: The Redskins are playing for their playoff lives and know they have to win out in their final three games to have any kind of chance: After visiting Cincinnati, they will be home for the Eagles before ending the season at San Francisco. The Bengals need one victory in their final three games to avoid having the worst single-season record in franchise history. For the ninth time in 14 games, the Bengals will face a defense ranked in the top 10, so the task will get no easier for the team's anemic offense. The Bengals' improved run defense will get tested by the Redskins, even with their depleted offensive line, and tailback Clinton Portis. The Bengals have to avoid turnovers.

MATCHUPS TO WATCH: Bengals WR Chad Ocho Cinco vs. Redskins CB Carlos Rogers. The Redskins don't have much of a pass rush at 29th in the NFL in sacks per pass play. (The Bengals are 31st.) The Redskins have 19 defensively, compared to 13 for the Bengals defensively. The Bengals have allowed 48, and are 30th in the NFL in sacks allowed per pass play. With not much of a rush facing them this week, the Bengals perhaps might be able to stretch the field with Chad Ocho Cinco, who had his best yardage game at Indianapolis. Washington has just 12 interceptions defensively, which is not an indication of how well its cornerbacks, particularly Carlos Rogers, are playing.

--Redskins RB Clinton Portis vs. Bengals rush defense. Washington rookie head coach Jim Zorn successfully merged his West Coast pass offense with the Redskins' traditional power run game early in the season. They were 6-2 in their first eight games and averaging 20.6 points a game. Clinton Portis, who is third in the NFL with 1,260 yards rushing (a 4.7-yard per carry average), had five consecutive games with 120 or more yards. But his last of seven rush touchdowns came Oct. 19 against the Browns. Bad news for the Redskins this week was that Pro Bowl left tackle Chris Samuels is finished for the season with a torn biceps sustained Sunday night against the Ravens. Stephon Heyer will start. On the right side at tackle, Jon Jansen is doubtful with a left knee sprain. Former University of Cincinnati star Jason Fabini, an 11-year veteran, is likely to make his first start at tackle since 2005 when he was still with the Jets.

INJURY IMPACT: DE/LB Eric Henderson became the 23rd Bengals player to go on IR. ... The Bengals should have CB David Jones (knee) and S Chinedum Ndukwe (foot) back for the Redskins game, which should help pass coverage and run support. ... DE Antwan Odom expects to return too, which could be an edge for the Bengals against the Redskins' fill-in tackles.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 11, 2008

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