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Monday hits: Brat says Palmer will rebound; Ndukwe to IR

Carson Palmer turns 31 two weeks from Monday and Bengals offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski is convinced Palmer is going to rebound from the worst season of his career.

"He'll recover. No doubt in my mind. He'll have plenty of good football in front of him," Bratkowski said Monday. "I don't think his skills have declined at all. He made some throws yesterday that were as good as anyone can throw them."

But three of those were picked off by the Steelers on Sunday in the 23-7 loss at Heinz Field, tying Palmer with Brett Favre and Drew Brees for the NFL lead with 18 interceptions and two off his career high of 20. Two of them were returned for touchdowns, giving Palmer five pick-sixes this season, the most in the NFL in six years.

Bratkowski said the first one, safety Troy Polamalu's 45-yard return, came about because wide receiver Terrell Owens' heels clicked with those of the defensive back. And Palmer didn't see linebacker LaMarr Woodley's back as he ran into a zone on the sideline for the 14-yard return.

"The third one," Bratkowski said, "was a coverage read." …

Chinedum Ndukwe (knee) became the 15th player, seventh defensive back, third safety, and seventh defender with at least one start to land on injured reserve Monday. Don't be surprised if safety Marvin White returns to the fold. White, the Bengals fourth-round pick in 2007, was cut before the 2009 season but resurfaced briefly this past August when the Bengals took some injuries there and needed people to get through the preseason games…

Head coach Marvin Lewis said the first of the Bengals' two illegal formation penalties on Sunday were of the nitpicking variety. It wiped out a first down on running back Bernard Scott's six-yard reverse when Scott was called for not being far up enough on the line next to left tackle Andrew Whitworth. Bratkowski put his hands inches apart and said, "Maybe if he moved up that much." But Lewis said the Bengals deserved the second one: "The other one was on our formation call and was called wrong and it was an error."

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