Posted: 6:35 p.m.
AndersonWillie Anderson won't be able to help Carson Palmer win the MVP in next month's Pro Bowl, but he figures Palmer would rather have a healthy right tackle for next season rather than a new truck.
"The skilled guys get it; linemen don't get anything," said Anderson on Wednesday, missing the All-Star game so he can rest his injured foot. "I don't think I need surgery and I think I'll be ready for minicamp."
Anderson said the foot won't prevent him from starting all 16 games for an eighth consecutive season, which would move him past three Bengals icons next season when it comes to service.
Anderson, who he thought he broke his foot during pregame warmups against Oakland, would move past Hall of Fame tackle Anthony Muñoz, nose tackle Tim Krumrie, and kicker Jim Breech with 190 games played when he gets done with his 12th season next year.
"I'm not putting any numbers on it. All I'm worried about is playing long enough to win a Super Bowl," Anderson said. "I hope my career will be remembered as respectfully as those guys, but the only thing that matters to me is my owner, my head coach, my line coach, my teammates, and the fans knowing that I'm going to do whatever it takes to get on the field while continuing to play at a high level."
The last month of this season may have been his most impressive feat yet after he injured the foot against Baltimore and before the Dec. 10 game against the Raiders he reaggravated it working against defensive tackle Sam Adams.
"I think I broke my foot," Anderson told right guard Bobbie Williams before going into the locker room to get taped and emerging in time to make another start in a skein that is currently at 112.
He also was able to blank Oakland sack artist Derrick Burgess.
Anderson says he has what amounts to a deep bruise where a bone is eroding an area of his ankle. Not only are they the biggest feet in Bengals history (19 Triple E), they are probably also the flattest, which he says compounds the injury.
Anderson had to leave early in the Indianapolis game on Dec. 18, but he came back to play the last two weeks on pure grit.
"If they knew how hurt I was," Anderson said of the Steelers in the finale, "they really could have taken advantage of me."
But Anderson, who turns 32 in July, says the team believes that getting off his feet for the next four months or so will heal it and he should be able to work in the May camps without having surgery.
"I've only gone under the knife once and that's all I want to do," Anderson said.
He was referring to the microfracture knee surgery after the 2004 season that took him out of the Pro Bowl and shelved him until late in the preseason of 2005. This will be the second of his four Pro Bowls he's missed, but he said if the Bengals had made the playoffs he would have kept playing.
"I'd love to block for Carson. Peyton Manning is going to have two of his guys blocking for him. Now that I'm not playing, another Auburn tackle is going to be blocking for his guy," Anderson said.
Anderson referred to Chargers rookie Marcus McNeill working with Philip Rivers at the Pro Bowl.
"I'm still going to go and take my family and some of my friends," he said of the Hawaiian vacation.