Updated: 9-4-09, 3:10 A.M.
After warming up before sitting out Thursday night's 38-7 win over the Colts in the preseason finale, Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer pronounced himself "full go" for the Sept. 13 opener against Denver.
Palmer put his sprained ankle through warmups, a process he says he's gone through the last couple of days. He says he's ready to go against defenders for the first time since his Aug. 14 injury on Monday, when the Bengals begin preparations for the Broncos.
"I've thrown with the receivers three, four, five times," Palmer said. "I'll keep working on that and the rhythm and jumping back into practice."
Palmer knew last week the coaches wouldn't let him play, but he said the pregame was still "a tease" because he had prepared himself mentally to play. He missed the last three preseason games, more than he missed when he was coming back from reconstructive knee surgery in 2006.
"It's not the best situation," he said. "You've got to go with what you've got and roll with the punches in this league."
Although he played in two preseason games in '06, Palmer missed more time on the field and in training camp than in '09. Palmer pretty much made every practice between the start of OTAs and the injury.
"I'm much more experienced. I'm more of a veteran. I'm more comfortable in our offense and more comfortable with the guys around me," Palmer said in comparing '06 to '09. "I missed quite a bit of the offseason just because I was rehabbing. I feel prepared. I feel ready. I have to keep watching film, keep figuring Denver out and just get better and healthier."
He didn't want to put a percentage on where he is, saying he can't do that until he plays in a game. But he seemed to be 100 percent impressed by the Bengals' 296 rushing yards.
"I know we almost had 300 yards rushing; that's awesome," Palmer said. "We dominated up front. Both lines of scrimmage. Both sides of the ball and looked really good."
SLANTS AND SCREENS
» Sorry if there was any confusion after Chris Henry's seven-yard touchdown catch from Jordan Palmer. We mistakenly thought we heard Bengals PR man Jack Brennan say that according to Elias Sports Bureau, he was the first NFL player to score a touchdown in every preseason game since 1995. He is, instead, the first Bengal to do it.
"He's been great, and he's not even starting," Jordan Palmer said. "He's been running with second string. I think it's a testament to the depth we have."
Somehow, Henry was uncovered.
"He ran a double move," Palmer said. "He runs to the back of the end zone, runs a cross, stops and spins out of it. It's impossible to cover. If you're in man-to-man coverage, you can't cover that route."
» For the second time in as many games, Palmer not only had a TD throw to Henry, but an interception to him. Last week, head coach Marvin Lewis screamed about Henry not making the tackle on the interception that turned into a long run. This time, Henry chased the defender down after a 15-yard gain.
That got Lewis winking.
"Chris Henry had a good tackle; it doesn't go unnoticed," he said. "He got the message. It's good when people get the message."
» Lewis also had praise for Palmer for surviving a rocky start. In his longest stint as a Bengal (he played every series but the first), Palmer finished with a 76.8 passer rating on 8-of-16 passing for 75 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception.
"He made a poor decision and a poor throw at one point, but he did some good things," Lewis said. "Jordan is a smart guy. He's telling everyone what to do, but he needs to get them out of the huddle. I'm thinking, 'Come on Jordan, let's go.' "
» J.T. O'Sullivan finished off heck of a preseason. Even though it was just for one series his two completions on two attempts (one a 14-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Andre Caldwell) gave him a triple-digit passer rating for the third time in four games with 154.2 and he finished at 125.8 with three touchdowns and no interceptions on 9.2 yards per his 39 attemps in which nearly 72 percent were complete.
» Nice finish to a nice preseason for second-year defensive tackle Pat Sims. He came into the game tied for third with 11 tackles and a share of the team sack lead with one. he had two sacks to take the lead outright.