Update: Utecht gone for year; Palmer throws; Smith easing

Posted Aug 31, 2009

Updated: 3:50 p.m.

With tight end Ben Utecht (concussion) placed on season-ending injured reserve, the Bengals are now faced with the decision of keeping two or three tight ends on the 53-man roster. They also waived/injured another tight end, Matt Sherry (shoulder), who will revert to IR if he clears waivers. Tough break for the 2008 sixth-rounder out of Villanova. Monday was a year and a day to the day he was put on IR  after undergoing shoulder surgery. After rehabbing and participating in the spring workouts, he hurt the same shoulder in training camp. 

Also at his Monday news conference, head coach Marvin Lewis said every player but cornerback David Jones (foot) could play in Thursday night's preseason finale against the Colts at Paul Brown Stadium. That, of course, also means quarterback Carson Palmer (ankle). Lewis said Palmer is going to work in some portions of practice Monday and he did take the field at the beginning of practice in helmets and shoulder pads.

Palmer joined the other quarterbacks throwing routes to a line of receivers, and he looked to be dropping back with at least the three-quarters speed he hoped for Monday. And he looked sharp, hitting Chris Henry on a deep out pattern to the sidelines and hitting Chad Ochocinco in stride on a downfield bomb.

Then when J.T. O'Sullivan took over the first team about 30 minutes in, Palmer left the field and went indoors to rehab.

The Bengals now have 75 players, meeting the Sept. 1 roster maximum. Rookie tackle Andre Smith doesn't count because of a two-week roster exemption.

Andre Day II wasn't much different than the first. He didn't do much and when he did, offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski said after Monday's practice, "He's behind. He made a lot of mistakes." Lewis still has Tuesday's practice before deciding if Smith will play Thursday.

The best battle for a starting job? Has to be at SAM linebacker where incumbent veteran Rashad Jeanty and rookie Rey Maualuga are slugging it out toe-to-toe. Asked when Maualuga was going to start, linebackers coach Jeff FitzGerald's opinion is "I don't know that. Probably on the near horizon." They don't know because Jeanty won't give up the job easily. Like defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer said, "Rashad is playing good. It's a great competition."



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