Updated: 9:25 p.m.
The Bengals were hit with a bevy of injuries Wednesday and even though quarterback
After getting carted off the field, it is believed to be the same foot he broke three days into his rookie season, an injury that prevented him playing full time until the last three games. The injury took Smith out of the first 10 games of last season and when he had surgery on it back in January it wiped out all the spring drills and training camp for him.
Head coach Marvin Lewis had no information on Smith as he came off the field, but he indicated Palmer and Ocho will play Sunday. Smith was seen walking out of the building.
If Smith can't go Sunday in Indianapolis, who gets the nod against another elite rusher, left end Robert Mathis? The options are Roland and
If Smith can play, he'll have to protect a banged-up passer.
"He's got a sore shouler," Lewis said of Palmer. "Giving it a rest."
Lewis smiled when asked about Ochocinco's ankle that got rolled up Monday night while he blocked on one of running back
"Make sure you put that; when he was blocking," Lewis said after practice. "It's the first time he's ever blocked and not looking behind. As he said, 'I told you.' ''
There doesn't seem to be a lot of angst about Palmer. He did his usual Wednesday news conference and he has already played once this year when he missed a Thursday practice because of a back issue.
Palmer had plenty of body parts to choose from since the Steelers didn't exactly handle him with care Monday night. He got sacked a season-high four times and got hit several other times, including on his 27-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver
The Bengals are in a short practice week and went back to the field for a scheduled normal two-hour Wednesday workout with all their starters but Palmer, The Ocho, defensive tackle
SLANTS AND SCREENS
» Since Monday night’s frustrating one-night catch against the Steelers, Chad Ochocinco has received advice from some heavy hitters. Rev. Jesse Jackson, the civil rights activist whose career stretches back to the circle of Dr. Martin Luther King, and Denzel Washington, the Oscar-winning actor.
The Ocho met Jackson for the first time Tuesday when head coach Marvin Lewis called Ochocinco back to Paul Brown Stadium after he had just left to go back to his home a stone’s throw away down Mehring Way. Jackson, in town for a speech, waxed eloquent with Ochocinco when he told him a story about Muhammad Ali.
“Ali had got knocked down by somebody and Jesse asked him, ‘What made you get up?’ ’’ The Ocho recounted before Wednesday’s practice. “And Jesse said Ali told him, ‘I was on the floor and I was dazed and I opened my eyes and thought, ‘The ground is no place for a champion.’ Whoa. That sent chills through my body. That was awesome. He didn’t just say it. He said it with that passion. He reminds me of Denzel and Ray Lewis. They’ve got a way of saying things.”
The Ocho knows Washington and has talked to him on several occasions. He said he heard from him after Washington watched Monday night’s game, the 27-21 loss to the Steelers in which Lewis benched The Ocho briefly to stem his animated frustration.
“Denzel got on me big time about losing my cool,” The Ocho said. “Focus. Focus. Keep focusing. I’ve got to understand (double coverage) is a compliment and my job is isn’t just about catching the ball.”
» If you thought the Bengals defense played the run as well as they did last season Monday night against the Steelers, defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer agrees with you.
“That’s what Coach Zimmer said, that we looked like the team we had last year,” said defensive tackle
Until the Steelers’ last drive of the game, the Bengals gave up just 78 yards on 25 runs to a team that came into the game averaging four yards per carry. How much do the Steelers believe in the run? Knowing they had to salt the game away on their last drive, Pittsburgh never passed it and pounded it seven times for 43 yards on Rashard Mendenhall bursts of eight, nine and 18 yards.
But with the Steelers about to get the clinching points, middle linebacker
“Being ready mentally, everybody doing their job,” Peko said when asked why now. “Not trying to do too much, not doing too little. If everyone does their job, we’ll be fine on defense.”
Peko is also seeking the same kind of pass rush, which got revived a bit Monday night against quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Left end
“We were all over Ben,” Peko said, but no one is expecting a bunch Sunday.
The Colts don’t run it well (25th in the league) or often (25 times per game), largely because the Colts offensive line is built to protect quarterback Peyton Manning. But even though everyone knows Manning is throwing, the Colts usually lead the NFL in allowing the fewest sacks per pass, and they are again. And the Bengals are next-to-last in the NFL generating sacks per pass.
» Peko got the rare call on offense Monday night when he was the fullback and lead blocker for running back Cedric Benson’s one-yard touchdown run. He didn’t know until after the play that the guy he sent butt over tea kettle was Pro Bowl safety Troy Polamalu, a fellow Samoan with one of the fiercest reps in the NFL.
“I’ve got nothing but respect for Polamalu and I’m pretty sure if the tables were turned he would do it to me,” Peko said Wednesday. “I was just looking for the first black helmet to show up in the hole whoever it was. I was going to go all out. It just happened to be him. We’re from the same country, American Samoa, and I looked up and said, ‘Oooh, one of my fellow usos.' ”
Uso means brother in Samoan and Polamalu must have been thinking the same thing.
“He just turned to me and said, ‘Why did you get me, Usy?' ” Peko said. “It’s all business out there. After the game we shook hands. A lot of people know if you play the game long enough, everybody is going to get hit like that.”
» A pure fullback showed up Wednesday in the person of
When the Bengals lost their only fullback in this past training camp after
Pressley turned down an offer for the practice squad after that workout in an effort to see if he could hook on to someone’s active roster. When he couldn’t, he opted for the Bengals because he and fellow practice-squadder
Now all he has to do is convince the Bengals they can use a fullbck
“That’s my mindset,” Pressley said. “I want to get into practice and show them I’m capable if they’re willing to add me to the offense. I know the system and it’s wide open. There’s no (active) fullback here. I figure it’s the best place for me."