Running back Ki-Jana Carter underwent arthroscopic surgery on his injured knee cap today, which the Bengals view as his best option if he wants to play this season. The procedure involves using heat to shrink the connective tissue around the knee cap.
Although the shrinking treatment is a new technique and hasn't been used often, Bengals trainer Paul Sparling likes the track record and thinks Carter could be back by the middle of training camp.
"It's a long-shot for the beginning of training camp," Sparling said. "We're really not going to know until he's on the field. We're assuming he's going to tolerate it well and have a good result. The question is if the knee cap is going to be stable enough to stop having the episodes."
Carter missed the last 13 games of this past season with a dislocated knee cap, the third time in five seasons his season ended early with an injury. Then last week during a workout, the knee cap slid out of place while he was jumping.
Pro Bowl running back Corey Dillon is in Los Angeles today meeting with agent Marvin Demoff as he plans his next move in the standoff with the Bengals. Meanwhile, club president Mike Brown is still extending his invitation to both to meet with him in Cincinnati.
With the NFL Draft gone and Dillon assured of being a Bengal in 2000, he has to make some decisions by June 15. That's when the Bengals can cut their one-year offer of $1.37 million to $553,000. By then, Dillon probably wants to decide if he'll go through with his threat to sit out the first 10 games of the season.
But the Bengals still want to sign him for the long-term even though he has taken Brown to task publicly.
"We hope he comes in to talk to us," Brown said. "We look forward to it. We want him to come back. We want to get a deal done. I'm not going to get upset about what he's said. I wish he had gone about it in a different way, but this is his first time (negotiating a big contract) and I can understand that. We're prepared to talk."
The Bengals are preparing to talk to not only Dillon, but right tackle Willie Anderson about a long-term deal. After drafting cornerbacks Mark Roman and Robert Bean, they won't pursue a veteran free-agent corner.
THIS AND THAT
After four NFL games, quarterback Akili Smith has a field named after him. He wrote a check to Grossmont Colllege in his hometown of San Diego for $100,000 that's earmarked for installation of a field that combines artificial turf and real dirt. Smith, a junior college All-American at Grossmont, says the Griffins will name the field after him. Smith is also planning donations to his other schools, the University of Oregon and Lincoln High School ... Bengals quarterback Eric Kresser threw for 190 yards including a 40-yard touchdown pass but his Berlin Thunder lost to Frankfurt, 32-7, in NFL Europe. Bengals tight end Damian Vaughn caught a team-high eight balls for 71 yards, but the Barcelona Dragons lost to Rhein, 28-17. The Dragons play the Thunder Monday at 11 a.m. on Direct TV ...
The Bengals signed backup linebacker Billy Granville to a one-year deal today.