Updated: 3:25 p.m.
The NFL's decision to extend the Bengals 24 hours to sell out tickets by 1 p.m. Friday is encouraging news for a team seeking its 45th straight sellout that will keep the game on Channel 12 in Cincinnati, Channel 7 in Dayton, Ohio, and Channel 27 in Lexington, Ky.
Indications are that they are still more than about 4,000 tickets away from a sellout.
"We know it's important to all of our fans to have our games available on live local television," said Bengals executive vice president Katie Blackburn in a press release. "And of course, we're excited about the prospect of having a full house cheering for us when we take the field against the Broncos, so we are making every effort to reach this goal."
Also Thursday, wide receiver Chris Henry (thigh) didn't dress for practice after working Wednesday. Safety Roy Williams (thigh) went full go Thursday after being limited Wednesday. Offensive lineman Scott Kooistra (knee) was limited Thursday as well as Wednesday.
COLES WAITS: Denver has the sixth youngest head coach in NFL history in Josh McDaniels, at 32 years and eight months at the time of his hire a month older than the Bengals' Dave Shula. McDaniels made his NFL coaching debut in Paul Brown Stadium on Opening Day 2001 as a personnel and coaching assistant for the Patriots.
The Bengals beat the Pats that day, 23-17, the year New England won its first of three Super Bowls. There are 17 players out of the 106 on the two teams that were in the NFL then, six for the Bengals and 11 for the Broncos.
One of those Bengals is one of the newest, wide receiver Laveranues Coles, who wanted to come into his 10th season with a low profile.
Consider it done after fellow wide receivers Chad Ochocinco and Chris Henry relentlessly tweeted and scored, respectively, during the preseason. The Ocho served notice he may be back to Pro Bowl form with a pair of big after-catch runs and Henry led the NFL in touchdowns.
"I'm here to be on the other side of this guy," Coles said, nodding at Ochocinco. "And Chris. When teams start trying to lean towards them, I'll just try to take away some of the attention from them. Balance the field back up so he can get back to what he does best and that's scoring touchdowns and making plays. I believe they all can score. I asked them, 'I don't know what y'all need me for.' ''
The idea is his 631-catch dependability. Some believe just Coles' presence has helped Ochocinco.
"That's what Carson (Palmer) says. I don't know, you'd have to ask him," Coles said. "I'm just trying to stay out of the way and try to get to Sunday."
The Ocho says Coles has helped him "by just the way he plays." Both are 31, but as Ochocinco points to the lockers of the four receivers next to him, Coles, Quan Cosby, Andre Caldwell and Jerome Simpson, he points out the speed.
"Lightning bolt. Lightning bolt. Lightning bolt. Lightning bolt," he said, pointing. "We could be a 4 x 100 team. Speed kills. I keep thinking about the matchups and do you realize what we can do? I don't mean to sound arrogant or anything."
Staring at his 10th opener with yet another quarterback (Coles' quarterback his rookie year was Vinny Testaverde and last year it Brett Favre), Coles knows enough that he doesn't know what's going to happen. Asked if Palmer is going to miss not having the two-and-a half weeks of practice lost with a sprained ankle, Coles shrugged.
"I really never played with him so I don't know," he said. "Everybody is different. Some guys need practice. Some guys don't."