Updated: 3:55 p.m.
Calling the Bengals' health "a bright light" with six games left, head coach Marvin Lewis said Wednesday that running back Cedric Benson has a good chance to play this Sunday.
"He'll be listed as not practicing with the team, but he'll assume the Cedric Wednesday type of work," said Lewis, indicating that Benson is going to step up his regimen after missing the last six quarters with a sore hip muscle.
But Benson wasn't seen on the field early in practice and didn't practice.
Lewis put Benson, WILL linebacker Keith Rivers, and left guard Evan Mathis in the "very close" category. Rivers (calf) and Mathis (ankle) were dressed and going through drills early in practice. Rivers was listed as limited and Mathis wasn't listed. Lewis said that on Wednesday he'd rest defensive tackle Domata Peko (knee), wide receiver Laveranues Coles (chest), cornerbacks Johnathan Joseph (foot) and Morgan Trent (knee), and maybe SAM linebacker Rey Maualuga (foot), but none seemed to be seriously hurt. Joseph and Trent were dressed and limited, but Coles, Maualuga and Peko weren't dressed and didn't work.
Also listed as limited were left end Robert Geathers (hip) and defensive tackle Tank Johnson (knee).
In the wake of last Sunday's 20-17 loss in Oakland, quarterback Carson Palmer says this week is the most frustrated and angry he's seen his team in his seven seasons on site as they prepare for Sunday's 1 p.m. sellout at Paul Brown Stadium against Cleveland.
"It's a division game, it's a home game, it's a rivalry game, it's a chance to go 6-0 in the division," Palmer said. "There's a lot riding on this game. It's a must win for us.
"This team hasn't been this frustrated and this mad since I've been here after what happened last week. We have a lot of energy right now. We're excited about the chance to play. Nothing gets that nasty feeling out of the pit of your stomach like getting a chance to play at home against a division team and go 6-0 in the divison and all the things added on to this game. Nothing gets rid of that nasty feeling that we have other than a win. ... We knew we had a chance to be in a different position than we are right now. ... It wasn't about the play calls, it wasn't about anything other than execution, holding on to the football and stopping them when we had to. We'll be ready to play this week. We have this feeling in our stomachs and we're excited to have the opportunity to get rid of it."
» You don't think coaches second-guess themselves? No one has had a better year mixing and matching calls than Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer. But he wishes he had back last Sunday's fourth-and-10 that Oakland converted in its tying touchdown drive in which he called off the blitz.
"I would have come after (Oakland quarterback Bruce Gradkowski)," Zimmer said if he had to do it over again. "We showed blitz and we were playing like a double coverage. I probaby should have done something else."