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Palmer, Bengals remain cautious

Updated: 6:30 p.m.

The Bengals are still being cautious with Carson Palmer's throwing elbow after his two touchdown passes Sunday in Dallas and that means he probably won't throw Wednesday and Thursday while waiting to see how it feels Friday.

"It came through as expected," Palmer said Wednesday at his weekly news conference. "We'll use the same approach as last week and hopefully I can play on Sunday. Throw as little as possible, rest as much as possible. Make a decision later on in the week. See what the doctors say."

Palmer was listed as limited at Wednesday's practice.

Palmer admitted Wednesday his injured throwing elbow has robbed him of his customary zip and it may be why the Bengals didn't go deep Sunday in Dallas.



Asked at his weekly news conference Wednesday if it was because of the threat of the Cowboys pass rush or his elbow, Palmer said, "Possibly a combination of both. I know (offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski) was conscious of it. But not too many teams have been successful throwing the ball from nine yards deep, with seven-step drops, and really holding onto it long."

The Bengals haven't gone deep very often this season (their longest pass to a wide receiver is 26 yards), but Sunday it was glaringly missing and Palmer seemed to indicate that the elbow was at least a factor in how the game unfolded, as was the Dallas front.

"He knew the situation, what was going on. We talked," Palmer said of Bratkowski. "There weren't a ton of opportunities where we wanted to be sitting in the pocket and really throw the ball downfield long, to let those guys get off press and get downfield, just because you've got DeMarcus Ware on one side and (Greg) Ellis on the other. We did such a good job in protecting in five steps and getting the ball off quick -- the offensive line, like I said after the game, played so well."

After practice Wednesday, Bratkowski said he went over the game plan with Palmer before the game Sunday and he was fine with the deep throws and that it didn't impact his strategy.

But clearly Palmer is coping with his arm strength not at 100 percent. There were some routes on Sunday that he chose not to make a throw.

"I think they were good decisions not to throw," Palmer said. "Balls I normally zip right by somebody, I felt maybe there's a chance they get their hands on it or make a play on it. Just pulled some of those down and moved on."

It's ironic, then, that Palmer faces NFL passing leader Brett Favre of the Jets on Sunday on the same Meadowlands field where he suffered the injury against the Giants back on Sept. 21. When Palmer didn't start or play the next week against the Browns, it snapped his streak of 51 straight starts, a bit shy of the NFL record of 257 that Favre takes into Sunday.

"I've said it before," Palmer said. "It's the single greatest record or achievement in all of sports. Three weeks ago I wanted to shoot for that record. I thought I could do that.

"It's just amazing," said Palmer, who kept his streak intact despite reconstructive knee surgery. "Any little thing could happen. A thing like what happened to me. A guy could fall on your knee the wrong way and it's surgery. You could break your arm and be casted. Any little crazy thing can happen in over 17 years. Some guy you're sidestepping roll(s) up on your ankle and it's a high ankle sprain and you'll be out two weeks. It's amazing to go 17 years and play at a high level like he has."

Palmer bested Favre the only time they met, a 21-14 victory over the Packers at Paul Brown Stadium on Oct. 30, 2005. Largely because Favre threw five interceptions.

It might as well have been 1905. The Bengals are winless, Favre is at home with a 110.8 passer rating and the three guys that made the interceptions that day in Cincinnati are no longer Bengals. Cornerbacks Deltha O'Neal (two) and Tory James (one) had three and middle linebacker Odell Thurman had the other two.

As Favre drove the Packers for a tying touchdown in the last minute, a fan ran on the field, grabbed the ball from Favre, got chased, pummeled, and arrested by security and cops, and broke The Pack's momentum.

"All I remember is winning and we haven't had one of those in awhile," Palmer said. "It's one of those things. 'Uh-oh, it's Favre.' You never know when the game's over. Fortunately we had some fan interference that saved for that win for us. He should have got the game ball."

As Joe Kay of the Associated Press told Palmer, "He did get the game ball for a little while."

Also on the practice field for the first time since his injury was safety Dexter Jackson, who has missed the last four games with a broken thumb suffered in the season opener at Baltimore. He was listed as limited. Running back Kenny Watson, who hasn't played the last two games with a hamstring injury, returned and wasn't on the report.. Cornerback Johnathan Joseph (ankle), who didn't start the last four games, had a full practice while defensive lineman Frostee Rucker (shoulder) and Pat Sims (thigh) were limited.

Left tackle Levi Jones (back), middle linebacker Dhani Jones (foot) and center Kyle Cook (toe) didn't practice.

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