Costly practice

11-5-01, 7:10 p.m.

BY GEOFF HOBSON

The Bengals suffered their fourth injury at tight end this season during the team's most costly practice of the year Wednesday.

Backup wide receiver Danny Farmer, one of three players to leave the workout, is the only one listed as doubtful for Sunday's game against Jacksonville. Farmer sprained his right ankle after stepping on running back Curtis Keaton's foot downfield. Starting strong safety JoJuan Armour sprained his left ankle and is listed as probable.

Brad St. Louis, the team's long snapper as well as its most experienced tight end, re-aggravated his left groin during individual drills and is listed as questionable as the club waits for what trainer Paul Sparling termed "a precautionary MRI."

St. Louis, who has snapped in every game on punts and field goals since he arrived in 2000, would most likely be replaced by tight end Kirk

McMullen, signed from the practice squad after starter Tony McGee's knee injury.

The Bengals could also go with outside linebacker Steve Foley or rookie defensive end Justin Smith. Another option if St. Louis can't go, is former Cowboys snapper Randy Chevrier, signed to the practice squad Tuesday.

Chevrier, taken in the seventh round by Jacksonville in the last draft, got picked up by the Cowboys after the Jags cut him. Dallas followed suit after he snapped in eight games. The last one came Nov. 11 against Atlanta, when his high snap on a field goal led to a season-ending ankle injury to kicker Tim Seder. The 6-2, 290-pound Chevrier, a defensive tackle out of McGill of Quebec in Canada, also had a wayward snap against the Eagles that led to a blocked punt.

The problem for the Bengals is if they sign Chevrier from the practice squad, they have to cut a player on the active 53-man roster.

In Jacksonville Wednesday, quarterback Mark Brunell (quad) and wide receiver Keenan McCardell (groin) rode the bike instead of practiced. McCardell is probable and though Brunell is listed as questionable, he indicated during Wednesday's conference call with the Cincinnati media that his quad strain is no worse than it has been most of the season.

Tight end Kyle Brady (ankle) also didn't practice and is questionable. Neither did linebacker Kevin Hardy (knee), who hasn't played in two weeks. Running back Fred Taylor (groin also isn't expected back.

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