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Notes: Lewis hints no add at RB; Tough year ends for Scott; Lewis defends decision

Posted Oct 8, 2012


Cedric Peerman

Updated: 6:15 p.m.

With running back Bernard Scott now on season-ending injured reserve, the Bengals indicated they're prepared to go into Sunday's game in Cleveland (1 p.m.-Cincinnati's Local 12) with Brian Leonard and Cedric Peerman spelling BenJarvus Green-Ellis after last Sunday's frustrating and futile final 45 minutes trying to run the ball.

“We’ll do it with the guys that we’ve got until we find someone else. If we don’t like what we’re doing, we’ll find somebody else. But we are where we are right now,” head coach Marvin Lewis said in his Monday news conference. "We’ve got the guys we have now–53 players–and they’re good enough for us to get done what we need to get done.

"I don’t think we need to change what we’re doing. Obviously BenJarvus will have a little bigger impact in things, along with the other guys – Brian Leonard and Cedric Peerman. We’ll see what we do from there.”

Offensive coordinator Jay Gruden indicated Monday that practice-squadder Daniel Herron, the sixth-round pick out of Ohio State, won't be ready until later in the season. Gruden says he'll be able to call any play with Leonard or Peerman in there and know that they know it.

Leonard, the third-down back, has six carries for 26 yards. Peerman is the back with the fewest carries with five, but has Cincinnati's longest run of the season on a 48-yard fake punt. Leonard and Peerman almost had as many carries this season as the injury-plagued Scott's eight, so his loss is tough to gauge on this particular team since he played in just two games.

The closest thing to Scott on the roster is Peerman. He showed his quickness in the last three preseasons when he rushed for 339 yards on 73 carries (4.6 per) with 93 yards coming on a 2010 run against the Colts. But he's also one of the club's special teams leaders (as the personal protector he ran the fake punt 48 yards in Jacksonville) and came into the Miami game second with three special teams tackles.

SCOTT TO IR: The Bengals put Scott on season-ending injured reserve Monday with what is believed to a torn ACL and replaced him on the roster with defensive end/SAM backer Dontay Moch. Moch practiced last week under a roster exemption that expired Monday after coming off his four-game suspension for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances.

In the four carries he had before he got hurt Sunday, Scott showed for the first time this season why his speed and elusiveness are so valuable. His 43 yards on four carries gave the top-ranked Dolphins run defense fits, including a season- long 29-yarder against Miami. On his fifth carry from the Dolphins 4, Scott tried to veer outside off a push on the right side, stopped, and got drilled by safety Reshad Jones for a three-yard loss as his knee buckled.

He came back into the game briefly, didn’t carry the ball, and was done for the season when an MRI revealed the damage. Scott's fourth season never got off the ground. He broke his hand at the end of the first week of training camp, missed the first two regular-season games, injured his ankle in his 2012 debut against the Redskins when he carried three times for minus-5 yards, and missed last week against Jacksonville.

Scott, who turns 29 a month before he becomes a free agent in March, has never been able to take off after an exciting rookie in 2009 when he won the Steelers game in Pittsburgh with a kick return touchdown and rushed for 119 yards in Oakland. Backing up Cedric Benson in 2010 and 2011, he played in every game and carried the ball just 173 times for 679 yards for a 3.9-yard average.

"Tough year. Hopefully this is his last year like that," Leonard said. "He's a good player. Obviously you saw that with the run he had. You don't see many runs like that in the NFL. Wrapped up by three guys and making tackles. That was a pretty good run. Definitely he'll be missed by us."

SLANTS AND SCREENS

» After sleeping on it for 24 hours, Lewis still thinks he did the right thing with 3:05 left Sunday when he kicked a field goal down by four points. He said it can't be compared to when he went for it on fourth-and-two from the Dolphins 35 in the first quarter and got a 20-yard catch by tight end Jermaine Gresham.

“In that situation there, we weren’t in position to kick a field goal. So that’s the difference," he said of a 53-yarder, although Mike Nugent's career long is 54.

"(On Miami’s 23-yard line), we’ve got automatic—or what should be automatic—points. We’ve got the ability to kick off, have a touchback, pin them back again, get the ball back again—just like we had done the previous series—have another opportunity for a field goal or touchdown, and win the football game going away," Lewis said. "I’ve got to trust our guys are going to get done what they’re going to get done. Fourth-and-five, at that point, is not as high of a percentage. Sometimes we have to do it – we did it a year ago in Jacksonville, when we were down by more points than that. But in this situation I chose to take the field goal, but unfortunately Mike (Nugent) missed it, so it opens things up to all the second-guessing, and we lost the football game."

But Lewis clearly went to sleep thinking about it because it sounded like he had a lot on his mind.

"There are a lot of decisions I have to make during the football game. Do we take a penalty or not take a penalty by the offense on second-and-long, then they missed the 53-yard field goal? Everybody’s got an opinion, and unfortunately I have to make the decision and live with it," Lewis said. "When you win the football game, none of these questions are ever asked about. Obviously when you lose, you’re opened up for second-guessing. But I’ve got to make the decision at the time, and I still feel like it’s the best thing to do. It gives our guys an opportunity to get the ball in our hands. We had three more possessions of the football. And from the time we didn’t go for two (points), four times. Early in the fourth quarter, we have a chance to get the ball, playing good defense. Or you can go conversely and say it the other way around. But that’s what I chose to do yesterday.”

» Moch becomes the ninth defensive lineman and seventh linebacker.

» If the Bengals are heavy anywhere it's in the secondary where they have 11 players. But they also have two corners that haven't been able to play yet this season in Dre Kirkpatrick (knee) and Jason Allen (quad).

» Further review: Kevin Huber's 25-yard punt didn't appear to get deflected. But there was pressure and it was hurried and shanked and put the ball on the Dolphins 37 to set up Cincinnati's first TD drive.

» A clue at how often the Bengals put themselves in bad situations on first down is how often they went with at least three wides Sunday. Slot receiver Andrew Hawkins took 65 percent of the snaps. He played half the snaps in the previous two games.

» Welcome to the NFL again. Safety Chris Crocker was a hero last week with an interception in his first game of the season. On Sunday, with Nate Clements back from a calf injury, he took three snaps from scrimmage. Clements held up, although nobody in the second level looked good on Reggie Bush's untouched 13-yard touchdown run. It was  Clements' second start at safety after 161 at corner.

"With Nate playing safety yesterday he made some positive plays and some plays that with experience and repetition will continue to do better and better," Lewis said. "We just have to continue to work at it and see what the best combination of guys are with what we’re doing."

» Despite throwing an interception Sunday to end the game, Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton still leads starting quarterbacks in fourth-quarter passing with a 127.7 passer rating, good for a 15-point lead over New England's Tom Brady in the AFC. But he slid from fifth to 12th in passing, and when the Bengals play the Browns it is going to be the matchup of the AFC's two lowest-rated passers on third down. Wide receiver A.J. Green is now fifth in receptions (36) and yards (493) in the NFL.

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