Updated: 5:25 p.m.
When the Bengals lost Reggie Kelly for the year with a ruptured Achilles tendon in the first week of training camp, they lost the luxury of a tight end that blocked like a tackle.
So offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski has done the next best thing and is using a tackle to help the young tight end tandem of Dan Coats and J.P. Foschi. Dennis Roland, the 6-9 man mountain who played in his fourth NFL game Sunday in Green Bay, not only played as an extra tight end against the Packers, he also rotated with Anthony Collins at the right tackle spot.
"Dennis has done well and we wanted to see what he could do and AC needed to improve," Bratkowski said Monday. "We wanted to give Dennis some snaps and give him a chance to go in and see what he can do. ... We're working around the situation that we're in trying to create different looks for the defense and give some help to our tight ends. Because J.P. and Dan are doing a decent job. We're just going to rotate and do some different things so it's not always dependent on them."
The numbers were good as the Bengals rushed for 151 yards and converted three out of four 3rd-and-2s or less by running the ball out of a formation that often had Roland at tight end and eligible to catch.
But he's there to block. Roland, the tallest Bengal in history, was part of a big rushing day in his only start, the '08 finale against the Chiefs in which the Bengals went for 204 yards. He came out of Georgia undrafted in 2006 and banged around with Dallas and Tampa Bay before the Bengals picked him on waivers right before the '08 season.
Running back Cedric Benson had a reason why the Bengals had success on the ground a week after they averaged 3.2 yards per carry in the loss to Denver.
"We had a great first half, I thought, last week in the run game," Benson said Monday. "We didn't get a lot of breaks like we always want, but that's NFL football for you. I think one of the main keys to this one is in the second half we stayed with it and stayed with some of the things that worked for us in the first half. We kept pounding and putting the pressure on. Last week we may have shied away from it in the second half. That could have been the difference."
STATE OF MARVIN: Marvin Lewis indicated at his Monday news conference that cornerback David Jones (foot) and guard Nate Livings (knee) could practice this week. But rookie right tackle Andre Smith (foot) won't. Smith appears to be at least a couple of weeks away from getting on the field. The broken foot has basically relegated him to running on the underwater treadmill for about 45 minutes a day.
» Lewis isn't pleased, of course, with Sunday's 13 penalties, and he was questioned about the three holding calls on the offensive line.
"We have to move our feet and get in better situations and try to avoid those things," he said. "It's a different standard being officiated ... we have to make sure we clean it up and meet the standard."
» Maybe Lewis' most telling comment on the status of second-year wide receiver Jerome Simpson, who has played in six NFL games and been inactive for 10, including both this year. Asked what Simpson has to do to get active, Lewis said that the NFL has to expand its Gameday actives to 46 or 47 from 45.
*MONDAY NUMBERS: *Even former Bengals were in the numbers game Monday after their 31-24 victory over the Packers left them with the NFL sack leader along with the league's fifth best punt returner and sixth best rusher.
Defensive end Antwan Odom's club-record five sacks Sunday against Green Bay gave him seven for the season and a three-sack lead over Denver linebacker Elvis Dumervil. Dumervil, who didn't get a sack against the Bengals last week set a team record himself with four against Cleveland on Sunday.
Rookie wide receiver Quan Cosby is second in the AFC with a 16.3-yard average on 10 attempts after punt returns of 60 and 32 at Lambeau Field, where Carl Pickens set the Bengals record with a 95-yarder 17 years to the day. The Browns' Josh Cribbs leads the AFC at 18.2 on five returns and the Eagles' Desean Jackson leads the league at 27.8 on four returns that include an 85-yard touchdown.
Running back Cedric Benson, who had the fourth best rushing day in the league Sunday with 141 yards on 29 carries, has 217 yards and trails guys like Fred Jackson of Buffalo by three yards and Mike Bell of New Orleans by 12 yards in sixth place. The Vikings' Adrian Peterson is the leader at 272.
Wide receiver Chad Ochocinco is sixth in the NFL in receiving yards and his 20-yard average leads all those with at least nine catches.
Naturally, Bengals all-time leading passer Ken Anderson comes back to Paul Brown Stadium this Sunday with his Super Bowl ring as the Steelers quarterbacks coach a week after Arizona's Kurt Warner reminded us how good he really was.
Against Jacksonville Warner set the NFL's completion percentage record for a game at 92.3 percent with 24-of-26 passing. Anderson had held the record for 19 years until Cleveland's Vinny Testaverde went for 91.3 in 1993. Anderson's 90.9 (20-of-22) is now third. And, of course, he did it against his own Steelers at Cincinnati's Riverfront Stadium on Nov. 10, 1974.