Updated: 2:50 p.m.
Marvin Lewis called Carson Palmer "markedly improved" after Tuesday's practice, where he took snaps from scrimmage for the first time since spraining his ankle Aug. 14.
But reading between the lines would indicate Palmer is not going to play in Thursday's preseason finale. Lewis said his main goal is to have him at full speed for Monday's practice and "that's how I'll judge things."
This week is a game where the starters don't usually play more than one or two series, and Lewis has been talking about keeping his team healthy "at the gate," which is Monday, the first practice in preparation for the Sept. 13 opener.
"We're almost at the gate. Let's get everybody to the gate Monday," Lewis said. "Then let's get through Monday because last year on Labor Day we lost a guy (Jeremi Johnson). Let's get to the gate. We're doing good. Let's keep it going."
Lewis said kicker Shayne Graham (groin) won't go Thursday and safety Chris Crocker (hamstring) probably won't, but defensive end Antwan Odom (Achilles) will play. Also, wide receiver Antonio Chatman (ankle) didn't practice. Lewis still hasn't made a call on rookie tackle Andre Smith and said he'll make it game day on Thursday.
"He's working. He's been busy," Lewis said.
According to ProFootballTalk.com, Smith has reasons to be busy. Citing a league source, Smith's contract contains a provision that slashes his pay in half for each game in which he weighs in at 350 pounds or higher and is not on the active Game day 45- man roster.
Palmer appeared to have bounced back from Monday's throwing session on his sprained ankle when he took some snaps from scrimmage during a walk-through portion of practice. Before that he dropped back and made some throws to the other quarterbacks. Like Monday, he again seemed to have no problem dropping back.
"He's moving better. He's using his hips and lower body and getting through and rotating. Doing it like he's supposed to do it," Lewis said. "We're going to play it out what's best for Carson and the team as we go forward. It was good to see him back involved today and the things we'll do today, tomorrow, Thursday, and then when we start this weekend. That's the goal is to have him full speed on Monday."
Also in the locker room before practice, wide receiver Chad Ochocinco had a simple response to the NFL's new guideline that players, coaches and all other football employees can't tweet or use any other form of social networking starting 90 minutes before kickoff and until after the postgame locker room is open to the media and players have first fulfilled their media obligation.
Players also can't have somebody tweet for them during that time.
"Rules are made to be broken," The Ocho said. "In a good way."
Here is The Ocho's solution: "I've got 150,000 followers. When I make a play, I'll give a hand signal and everybody tweets at the same time."