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QBs: Palmer says he'll throw Friday; Zimmer calls Manning best he's faced

A tale of two QBs:

The plan was for quarterback Carson Palmer to throw Thursday after resting for a day his throwing shoulder sore from a shot Monday night. But Palmer wanted to push it back a day when it was still sore Thursday morning.

But he said he'll throw in Friday's practice, and be ready for the Colts on Sunday in Indianapolis.

"Not worried at all," Palmer said before Thursday's practice. "We played a late Monday game; it's just an extra day of recovery making sure it's ready for Sunday."

"Still sore. Hopefully we'll have him out here tomorrow," Lewis said. "He's being Carson. He's very confident. Still a little bit sore and hasn't stretched it out too bad yet and get ready to go tomorrow." 

Jordan Palmer and his 12 career passes got the reps accorded to the next man up. Lewis says his guys are reacting better than they did in '08, when Carson Palmer missed 12 games because of an elbow injury.

"I didn't do a good enough job of getting our team to understand in '08 that Carson is not going to come in off his white horse and save us," Lewis said. "Everybody has to rise up and play to a different level. In practice I can see we remember back to that experience with some of those guys like Bobbie, Whit with Chad a little bit. I think Terrell understands that. It means man down, somebody else has to rise up and do more and be more precise. I think Cedric understands that. In practice you notice a little bit of that.

"We have a heightened sense of awareness that this is what happens. And it happens, look around the National Football League. Next man in. Let's find a new way. If something were to happen where Jordan was the quarterback come Sunday, we would do what we need to do to give Jordan the best opportunity to be successful."

Then there is the other quarterback in Sunday's game.

Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer has faced them all in his 17 NFL seasons. John Elway. Steve Young. Brett Favre. And there's no doubt who he says is the best quarterback he's ever coached against. The guy he plays Sunday in Indy.

And don't ask him if he's going to blitz Peyton Manning.

"He's got a 100 passer rating against the blitz," Zimmer said after Thursday's practice.

"He throws the ball unbelievably. Gets the ball in the right place. He's terrific," Zimmer said. "Getting the ball out. He's excellent at avoiding the rush. There's nothing he's not good at. He gets them in the right place. The system is good for him. He can play anywhere, any time. He's as good as there ever was I think."

The Bengals already know. Manning has been money against Cincinnati. He is 6-0 with 17 touchdowns and three interceptions and has completed 66.7 percent of his passes and averaged more than eight yards per pass.

It hasn't mattered who the head coach or who the defensive coordinator is. Manning is 2-0 vs. Bruce Coslet, 1-0 vs. Dick LeBeau and 3-0 vs. Lewis. When he was the coordinator, LeBeau allowed Manning 70 points in two games. Chuck Bresnahan gave him 79 in two games. Mark Duffner allowed 28 in '02 and Zimmer is looking to atone for the 35 points he allowed in '08.

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