Updated: 1 p.m.
Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis decided to make wide receiver Jerome Simpson active in Sunday's 1 p.m. game against the 49ers at Paul Brown Stadium but started Andre Caldwell in his place.
It's believed that Simpson was at PBS Saturday after missing practices Thursday and Friday following reports that he's under a drug investigation. Published reports said 2.5 pounds of marijuana were delivered to his Northern Kentucky home, where an ensuing search revealed six pounds of marijuana.
Lewis's policy is usually 'If you don't practice, you don't play." But after practice Friday he said that he would make the decision based on "what's best for Jerome," and made a point to talk about Simpson's many visits into the community for charity.
The Bengals released the following statement on Simpson:
"Jerome Simpson returned to team activites Friday afternoon and after evaluating his readiness, the coaching staff has determined he will be active for today's game. Jerome's legal situation with regards to events of the past week remains completely unresolved and the Bengals believe it is not appropriate to act on any presumption of what may transpire."
Those ruled inactive for the Bengals were left end Robert Geathers, tight end Colin Cochart, safeties Taylor Mays and Robert Sands, linebacker Dontay Moch and offensive lineman Otis Hudson.
Cochart is the major surprise after the rookie started the first two games. Donald Lee, signed two weeks ago, is making his first Bengals appearance in his spot. Lee is a nine-year veteran and has seen the Niners' defense before. Cochart (working in a tough matchup against Von Miller) and the rest of the offense struggled in short-yardage in Denver and the coaches have appeared to opt for Lee's experience against a tough front that he prepared for last December while playing for Green Bay.
Caldwell is making his 13th start. When he started the last three games in 2010, he came up with 15 catches for 270 yards.
Geathers (shoulder) missed his second straight game and Jon Fanene got his second straight start.
Reports surfaced before kickoff that the Bengals are bringing in running back Larry Johnson for a workout Tuesday, the same day Cedric Benson goes to New York to appeal his three-game suspension. Johnson had a 100-yard game for the Bengals in place if Benson late in the 2009 season and was in Miami's training camp.
Lewis made Benson one of his captains along with cornerback Leon Hall, defensive tackle Domata Peko and linebacker Brandon Johnson. The 49ers deferrred the toss and the Bengals got the ball on a touchback.