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Update: Roy bad break; Jungle becomes Junk Yard

Posted Nov 13, 2009


Roy Williams

Updated: 3:40 p.m.

The Bengals placed safety Roy Williams on season-ending injured reserve Friday and replaced him on the roster with wide receiver Maurice Purify from the practice squad.

Jordan Woy, Williams' agent said Friday that a fracture had been confirmed in his forearm this week and that it will be put in a cast to see if it heals without surgery. Williams took a blow to the arm that he injured last season in Dallas in practice the week leading up to the Oct. 4 game in Cleveland, missed that game, had to leave the Oct. 11 win in Baltimore and then missed the last three games. The fracture was apparently found after he took a blow to it when he returned to practice Wednesday.

Head coach Marvin Lewis said Williams got dinged in the arm "and it sent him sideways." Lewis said after Friday morning's practice inside Paul Brown Stadium that Williams couldn't tolerate the pain in the arm that he fractured last year and required the insertion of two plates.

Before Friday's practice, a downcast Williams said, "I don't want to talk about it."

Lewis said he told Williams, a free-agent after the season, that he wants him back and he also said he didn't believe it threatens the career of Williams, a five-time Pro Bowler who turns 30 next training camp.

"We know he's a hell of a kid and that he wants to play in the worst way," Lewis said. "The pain and the trauma on the site of where he had the injury is too much. ... I think the medical people just feel the best way is for him to have a couple of options. He'll explore the best option to go forward for his career next year.

"He's a great player, a great person. He's uplifted this building and we want to have all those guys we can have here. Tough guy to lose. But he's empowered other guys to play better and that's what you want guys to do. It's been good for us."

Woy also said the the injury won't prevent Williams from playing in 2010.

"He'll be somewhere and he hopes it's there," Woy said. "From what he told me he really likes the coaches and the front office and would like to come back."

Also not on the field Friday were WILL linebacker Keith Rivers (calf), and left guard Evan Mathis (ankle), categorized "doubtful" by Lewis and most likely on Sunday's inactive list.  Defensive lineman Tank Johnson, center Jonathan Luigs, and wide receiver Andre Caldwell all were out with illness but it wasn't serious enough to take them out of the probable category. End Robert Geathers (hip) was limited and also named probable. Fullback Jeremi Johnson (chest) and defensive end Frostee Rucker (neck) went full go Friday after being limited Thursday and are questionable.

They may end up renaming “The Jungle” “The Junk Yard” by the time Lewis’ recycled renegades return from a two-game road trip to play Cleveland Thanksgiving Sunday on Nov. 29.

Add another guy someone told to take a hike in wide receiver Maurice Purify, an undrafted free agent who signed with the Bengals only after a tryout in the 2008 rookie camp. On Friday the Bengals signed Purify from the practice squad as he prepared to make his NFL debut Sunday.
 
Are you sure NFL Films legend Steve Sabol didn’t write Friday’s script?

Think back to the Oklahoma Drill on the third day of training camp when a little-known young wide receiver blew up the five Pro Bowls of Williams to the delight of the cheering, yelping offense in what had to be one of the Hard Knocks highlights.

Now fast forward and that little-known kid receiver, Purify, takes Williams’ spot on the roster. Purify knew something was up Wednesday. Usually he plays the opposing team’s top receiver against the defense and last time in Steelers week he was Hines Ward. This time the Ward role went to newly-signed practice squadder Freddie Brown while Purify took snaps with the offense.

“Anytime someone got ill or sick, he got thrown in the mix and we didn’t seem to miss a beat,” Lewis said. “He’s big, fast, he runs with the the ball after he catches it, he blocks, he contributes on special teams. He gives us a lot of options. He’s a real tough kid. He’s tough. Not many guys want to pick a fight with Maurice around here.”

So it looks like 2008 second-rounder Jerome Simpson is going to be shelved for the ninth straight game. But Lewis claims the decision wasn’t a referendum on Simpson, but on the skills of Purify. Purify, Lewis says, fits in pretty well with how this roster has been picked up at the curb and turned into a shiny new contender.

When six family members and friends died in three months just before his senior year at Nebraska, Purify turned to the bottle and ended up getting a DUI and assault charge. After catching the second most touchdowns in Nebraska history, he went undrafted.

“We found a good prospect last year,” Lewis said. “He overcame some tough circumstances. This football team is kind of made up with a bunch of guys like him.”

SLANTS AND SCREENS

» The man who replaces Williams, Chinedum Ndukwe, talked about his Notre Dame team playing at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh the night before the Bengals play the Steelers on Sunday. He knows that is going to make it a sloppy track.

"We're going to tear it up," Ndukwe said of the game against the Pitt Panthers. "I'd like go over and say hello to the boys, but I know how we treat it and they treat it and this is a business trip."

Ndukwe, a Columbus, Ohio product, isn't concerned about a field that the NFL players always rate near the bottom of the league because of the high school and college teams that play on it. The Bengals lost two players to season-ending knee injuries on it last November when ends Robert Geathers and Frostee Rucker slipped on a field slick with a glaze of snow and rain.  

"If it's dry, it will be OK. We've moved on from that," Geathers said Friday.

When someone noted that the field doesn't seem to bother Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, Ndukwe referenced Roethlisberger's prep career at Findlay, Ohio: "We're both Ohio boys. We're used to it."

» According to Joe Reedy of The Cincinnati Enquirer, the NFL has fined wide receiver Chad Ochocinco $20,000 for last Sunday's gag when he offered an official a dollar bill while the crew reviewed one of his catches. The catch got overturned, the fine probably won't. Not exactly fixing the 1919 World Series, but $20,000 could have got the whole White Sox infield.

Some think the fine is a bit excessive in a business where there is a lot more hurting the integrity of the game than a guy pulling a gag with a dollar bill. But count Lewis as all for the fine.

"You don't fool with the integrity of the game in the NFL," Lewis said. "You don't cross that line and he crossed that line. I told him that and obviously the league felt that. We're not the WWF. It's a serious game for serious people.  You can't do that and he realizes he made a very big error in judgment. He's sorry for it. Hopefully some good will come out of it. I'm sure the league at some point can't have a copycat deal. So I think they made a pretty firm statement there will be no copycats."

The Ocho says the company that came up with his iPhone application is matching the fine with a donation to charity.

» ESPN takes a look at how the winning seasons of the Bengals and the University of Cincinnati has impacted the city at 3 p.m. Friday on "Outside The Lines."

» Funniest moment of the week came at the end of the week. Lewis didn't think it was very funny as he cringed watching rookie linebacker Rey Maualuga drive a cart from the field to the locker room loaded with what seemed to be all six linebackers who had practiced hanging off the cart every which way. Maualuga pulled up to the door as a batch of water bottles fell to the floor. Then he carefully parked next to a wall and got out.

Still wearing his helmet, Maualuga was complimented for not taking it off.

Without missing a beat he said, "Safety first."

 

     

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