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Friday update

Updated: 1:45 p.m.



Chad Johnson blew off a question about his injured hamstring Friday morning and then proceeded to practice and keep his probable status.

Johnson and quarterback Carson Palmer were among the last to leave the field, indicating they stayed behind to throw some routes but head coach Marvin Lewis would only say, "We'll see," when asked about his status.

Johnson, who caught two more passes that included a touchdown after pulling up lame following his 60-yard score last Sunday, sat out a portion of Thursday's practice.

But the defense still has some major concerns, particularly in the secondary where cornerbacks Deltha O'Neal (shoulder) and Keiwan Ratliff (ribs) didn't practice Wednesday and Thursday and are listed as questionable. Ratliff did practice but remains questionable. O'Neal did not, indicating Johnathan Joseph gets another start.

Middle linebacker Brian Simmons (neck) practiced for the first time this week Friday, but also remained questionable. Left tackle Levi Jones (knee) has been downgraded to doubtful.


Ratliff's situation naturally brings up the subject of punt returns, since Antonio Chatman and Tab Perry are lost for the year with injuries. According to this week's depth chart the backup is wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh, but he hasn't returned a punt since 2004 and it's a big question now if the Bengals use him because he's such an integral part of the offense.

Remember when? As a rookie in 2001 in Cleveland he had an 86-yard punt return in a game he set the club record with 126 punt return yards. It's the longest punt return in club history that didn't go for a touchdown.


Right guard Bobbie Williams (appendix) is gone but not forgotten and he figures to be back for the Dec. 10 game against Oakland. Right tackle Willie Anderson wore Williams' No. 63 at practice Friday, but linemen like it when they're not noticed.



Stacy Andrews drew rave reviews stepping in for Williams last Sunday in not only his first NFL regular-season start but his first real start on any level.

When quarterbacks coach Ken Zampese asked Carson Palmer how Andrews did, Palmer gave him the ultimate compliment.

"I said I didn't even notice that he was in there," Palmer said this week. "That means nothing but good things about the way he played. He was in the right spots. He was coming off the ball, with no penalties playing in a loud environment like that. He heard the snap counts and heard the audibles. He understood everything. You can't play much better of a game for your first game."


This is the Elias Stat Bowl for kickers. The Bengals' Shayne Graham leads the Browns' Phil Dawson by 84.33 percent to 83.98 as the second most accurate kicker of all time behind Dallas' Mike Vanderjagt.

"I don't think about that. It doesn't matter who is the other kicker," Graham said. "My whole thing is I'm thinking about my next kick and not much else."

Graham has only missed one kick under 50 yards this season and two longer than 50. Dawson hasn't tried a 50-yarder and missed three under 50.

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