Updated: 6:10 p.m.
It is not official until next week, but head coach Marvin Lewis said Monday heading into this week's bye that he thinks rookie right tackle Andre Smith and safety Roy Williams are going to be probable for the Nov. 8 game against Baltimore at Paul Brown Stadium. Smith has yet to be active after breaking his foot Sept. 1 in his third day of practice and Williams has missed three of the last four games with a badly bruised forearm.
Also Monday, CBS has invited Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco to spend this Sunday's bye on its NFL Today pregame and halftime show. No word if The Ocho is booked. He's already got a book signing set up for Saturday at Joseph-Beth booksellers in Cincinnati.
Lewis also said that fullback Jeremi Johnson (knee) is going to be OK for next week, but he'll know more about rookie running back Bernard Scott later in the week. Scott thinks he'll be OK after undergoing an MRI for the knee he appeared to twist in the fourth quarter of Sunday's win over the Bears.
"I just landed on it wrong. It got twisted under the pile," Scott said Monday. "I was looking forward to getting a little work in, get my feet a little wet. Everything happens for a reason, but I think I'll be all right."
Scott had six carries for 17 yards, but he could have had a lot more after Cedric Benson took his curtain call with about nine minutes left. After Scott got hurt, Benson went back out to get 17 more yards and finish with a career-high 189.
Lewis couldn't find much fault with the 45-10 win, tying the 35-point spread the Bengals had over the expansion Texans in 2002. He said Frostee Rucker played the best game he's had in four years here with a sack and three quarterback hurries.
» On the Bengals' first possession Sunday, offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski deployed The Wildcat for a play Sunday when the Bengals had a first down on the Bears 11. Running back Cedric Benson took the direct snap and quarterback Carson Palmer split wide. Benson took it back up the middle for three yards and, don't worry, Palmer is never going to be involved in a block or, for that matter, any part of the play.
But Bratkowski wouldn't rule out Benson throwing a pass someday: "I don't know about that, we'll see." Benson, after all, had a good enough arm to be drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 12th round out of high school.
And Bratkowski sees The Wildcat sticking around the NFL for awhile.
"Sure, versions of it," he said. "You force them to cover a decoy. They have to go out there and cover, so you maybe take the safety out of the box and still have a two-back run. You can have a one-back set with two-back runs and a tight end, still."
» Lewis also praised rookie cornerback Morgan Trent after playing his most snaps of the season as the nickel back since the Bengals were in nickel for more than half the game. Trent, the sixth-rounder from Michigan, has been creeping into the 30-snap mark the past month. With the confidence in Trent and not needing to put safety Chris Crocker in the slot, it frees up Crocker to roam and it paid off. Crocker tipped one ball to cornerback Leon Hall for an interception late in the first half and he got one himself late in the third quarter when Bears quarterback Jay Cutler tried to hit tight end Greg Olsen over the middle and he gunned it right to Crocker.
"Due to the injuries we're having at safety, we've kept Chris at safety the last couple of weeks and used Morgan down underneath, more than we have," Lewis said. "We'll continue to do that based on our matchups. He keeps learning and getting better and better."
» The Bengals got some good late-round work Sunday. Along with Trent, seventh-rounders Jon Fanene and Chinedum Ndukwe started while Scott, the sixth-rounder from Abilene Christian, saw some time and got on the field with the Bears' fellow Division II ACU alums, wide receiver Johnny Knox and safety Danieal Manning.
Scott, in fact, made a great move on Manning in the open field on his longest run of the day, an 11-yarder in which he got Manning to go for an inside juke and made him whiff. He showed that elusiveness that convinced the Bengals to draft him.
"From the pre-snap read I could tell that's where he was going to be in space," Scott said. "I'm just running with the ball and trying to make a play."
He never played with Manning but came out with Knox. It was a big enough moment that ACU officials came to the game to get that golden pregame picture of all of them together on an NFL field.
"That was crazy being on the other side of Johnny, but it was fun," Scott said. "It just tells you it doesn't matter what division you come from, if you can play you can play. It gives a lot of credit back to ACU. It shows they've got a real good program with a lot of good coaches and a lot of good people."
The Bengals did a superb job holding Knox, the NFL kick return leader, to 21.6 yards per his seven shots after he came in at 33.7. Backup WILL linebacker Brandon Johnson looked to be among the most active with two tackles and Lewis said kicker Shayne Graham "did a nice job of ball placement after his first kickoff and I thought our timing was very good in its placements." That first one went 25 yards and Knox's longest return of the day went for 28.
» A theme of the bye week is going to be how surprisingly wellthe offensive line has played. On Monday they find themselves in the top 10 in two categories that have been a problem the past few years. The Bengals are ninth in rushing offense and 10th in allowing sacks per pass and that's a direct reflection of the line. And, in Lewis's view, of the play of first-year starter Kyle Cook at center.
"We're not having the one- or two-person breakdowns like we have in years past, which has been good," Lewis said. "He's been the glue of all that. He's been the biggest part of that. He's getting us in the right spots and right places, and has done a great job. Collectively, the group together has done a great job, and Kyle is a lot responsible for that."
» The bad news? The Bengals haven't won coming off a bye since Lewis' first season in 2003. The good news? It came over the Ravens at home. But if he's changing his approach it's only because the first seven games have dictated it.
"Every year is different, depending on the focus of the football team," he said. "We're at a point this year where we have some guys who will get some rest, at least in some of the stuff. That will be good. All in all, we take a critical look at what we're doing. I've got guys looking at each side of the football. Some guys are looking at offense, some are looking at defense, some are looking at special teams, looking at us, breaking us down. Looking at where we can get better. There are some things we've been holding as far as installation that we'll get a chance to introduce to some guys, at least conceptually."