'All systems go'

Updated: 3:30 p.m.

Quarterback Carson Palmer threw during practice Friday and barring a setback Saturday morning, head coach Marvin Lewis said "all systems are go" if his right elbow continues to respond.

"He did well. We'll see how he is in the morning," Lewis said. "If things continue as they have, I think all systems are go."

Lewis said Palmer threw for all the routes, whether they were short, long or intermediate.


PalmerPalmer is listed as questionable on Friday's injury report, but with a full practice. He was limited last Friday and is listed as questionable but didn't play.

And it sounds like Palmer will have wide receiver Chris Henry at his disposal. The Bengals have yet to add him to the roster, but Lewis said, "He's had a good week of practice. Obviously he got the message and he spent the four weeks (of suspension) being very productive."

The Bengals did make one move Friday, cutting rookie cornerback Simeon Castille and adding linebacker Abdul Hodge from the practice squad. Castille, a free agent from Alabama, has played in all four games and they'll probably try to get him to the practice squad. If Henry is to play against the Cowboys, the Bengals have to cut somebody. With backup middle linebacker Corey Mays (ankle) doubtful, they need bodies at backer.

Left tackle Levi Jones was not in dressed but Lewis said he'll play and is listed as probable. Jones is taking treatments for knee cartilage damage and can't work for 24 hours. Running back Kenny Watson (hamstring) is also questionable after a limited practice, but Lewis said he is hoping Watson will be up next week and indicated he won't be ready for the Cowboys.

For the Cowboys, two starters have been ruled out in left guard Kyle Kosier (foot) and safety Roy Williams (forearm).

Asked before practice if he would "cut it loose," Palmer said he'd try and see what it felt like. When he amped up the speed of the passes, trainer Nick Cosgray gave way to running back Cedric Benson as the catcher and Palmer hummed several with good velocity before joining up with the rest of the offense.

Also Friday, cornerback Johnathan Joseph had his first full practice since injuring his ankle against Tennessee Sept. 14 and sitting out the last two games. He was listed as questionable. Middle linebacker Dhani Jones (foot) was limited but probable. Defensive tackle Domata Peko (hand) and running back Chris Perry were listed as probable after they both had full practices.

The brutal play of the offense has obscured the improved play of a defense that goes into Dallas ranked 19th in yardage and 17th in scoring. New defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer isn't happy with the big plays that have been allowed, but Lewis says Zimmer has brought the kind of impact he wanted when he hired him back in January.

Zimmer returns to Texas Stadium Sunday for the first time since he coached in Dallas from 1994-2006, the last seven as defensive coordinator.

"It's an important game for all of us, but I'm sure he's extra psyched and jazzed up," Lewis said. "Like when I went to Baltimore from Pittsburgh."

Lewis said Zimmer has excelled at teaching the details of his game plans, a game plan that is going to have to be meticulous against a Dallas offense that is ranked second in the NFL.

How popular are the Cowboys when they're hot? They're going against an 0-4 team and CBS is still sending in its top crew with play-by-play man Jim Nantz teamed with analyst Phil Simms.

And Simms is talking up the Bengals.

"That makes them dangerous. Any time a team in the NFL hasn't won a game, they're emotionally desperate because it's embarrassing to have that zero," Simms said in a conference call this week. "Nobody wants to play a team that has that zero. Did anybody think the Miami Dolphins were going to lay it to the New England Patriots like they did?

"Of course not. Two weeks ago the Bengals played the New York Giants and had them on the ropes. They played spirited, hard and smart. They did it all. The Giants are one of the most talented teams in the NFL, and they overcame because of that."

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