LJ 'anticipates' playing; Ced game-time decision

Posted Nov 20, 2009

Updated: 1:55 p.m.

Running back Larry Johnson's Bengals debut looks to be on track for Sunday in Oakland while Cedric Benson says he's a game-time decision. Benson's sore hip muscle kept him out of practice for a third straight day Friday, usually an indication of a deactivation on Sunday. The injury report has him as "doubtful." 

"I'm going out there with the anticipation of playing," Johnson said before Friday's practice. "I don't know what they're doing numbers-wise but I know I am going to be put in some of the packages and some of the plays and go from there. I don't know if it's a whole game plan, whatever they give me I'll do the best I can with it ... it's a new situation, new environment. It all depends on what they want me to do."

Head coach Marvin Lewis said after Friday's practice that if Johnson is active, he'll carry the ball and he's been impressed with how quickly Johnson has picked up the scheme. He says he'll have to know enough "not to handicap the playcaller." 

Johnson inidcated they've given him regular plays from the playbook and not starter plays.

"It's not basic. It is a game plan that's something we're going to do, that Cedric would come in and do," Johnson said. "It's plays they're comfortable with me."

After his first practice, Johnson said the pass protections were easier to pick up because there weren't as many as the Chiefs had and because of the simple way quarterback Carson Palmer is able to communicate them. 

It also looks like WILL linebacker Keith Rivers (calf) won't play because he missed his third straight practice and is categorized as doubtful. Everyone else was dressed. Lewis said if Rivers and left guard Evan Mathis (doubtful with an ankle after being limited Friday) don't play Sunday, he feels good about them being able to go next week. Lewis also said safety Chris Crocker (calf) will play after he was limited Friday in his first work of the week and was called questionable.

Also questionable were two cornerbacks, Johnathan Joseph (foot), who was limited,  and Morgan Trent (knee), who didn't practice after surfacing on the report for the first time Friday. Wide receiver Laveranues Coles (head) went full go and is probable.




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