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Paper: Bulger out

Updated: 12-7-07, 7:40 p.m.

The Bengals are apparently going to face No. 3 Rams quarterback Brock Berlin in his first NFL action.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, citing two sources, reported Friday that Rams quarterback Marc Bulger won't play as he chooses to use caution following a Nov. 25 concussion.

Bulger went through a limited practice Friday and had gone full in the previous two practices after being cleared. Backup Gus Frerotte (shoulder) is doubtful, leaving Berlin and his 0.0 NFL snaps.

After Bulger didn't feel well following Thursday's practice, the Rams signed Todd Bouman and he practiced Friday and could be the backup.

"Marc had really what I thought were two very good practices Wednesday and Thursday, but that's the objective part," Rams coach Scott Linehan told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "I guess the subjective part is he didn't feel really good after (Thursday) afternoon's meetings.

"Because of that, it puts some questions in my mind as to whether or not he should be cleared to play."

The Rams have several millions of reasons to hold out Bulger Sunday with a 3-9 record. They have just made him the guy for the future with a $65 million extension and he's working behind an offensive line decimated with injuries.

Also for the Rams, right tackle Rob Petitti (concussion) is out and middle linebacker Will Witherspoon (groin), their leading sacker, went limited Friday.

For the Bengals, right tackle Willie Anderson (knee) is out and free safety Madieu Williams (quad) is questionable after not working at Friday's practice inside Paul Brown Stadium. All other Bengals are probable after going through a full practice.

Anderson, who had a 116-game consecutive streak snapped earlier this season, is going to miss his seventh-straight game and his status after this week remains in doubt. He did work Wednesday, but didn't come back the next two days.

Head coach Marvin Lewis had some pointed observations after Friday's practice when asked about using younger players late in this 4-8 season so he can find out if they can help next year.

"How can I sit out the better guy?" Lewis asked. "That's what we do every day. We practice. If a guy is here on the team, I already know he can play."

Lewis hosted new Reds manager Dusty Baker and son, and Baker made the rounds signing autographs. Baker reminisced that he had some college opportunities to play wide receiver before becoming a big-league outfielder "and there's no doubt I made the right choice," he said.

According to the National Weather Service in Wilmington, Ohio, it will be cloudy Sunday at the 1 p.m. PBS kickoff with a 70 percent chance of rain and temperatures in the lower 50s with winds out of the south and southwest at about 10 miles per hour.

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