Update: Palmer waiting

Updated: 5:50 p.m.

Carson Palmer said Saturday that his sprained ankle is getting better every day but he's not sure if he'll practice Sunday or play in Thursday night's preseason finale against the Colts at Paul Brown Stadium.

"One day at a time," Palmer said. "I've got all my rehab stuff done today and I'll get here tomorrow and see what they want me to do."

Palmer has been grinding in both the weight room and training room, doing strengthening and balancing drills in one and therapy in the other.

"I'd love to play, but the training staff is going to decide what's best," Palmer said. "Whether it's get the reps or let it heal and not take a chance this weekend missing the next one."

The next one, of course, is the Sept. 13 opener against Denver, the one in which Palmer says he'll be ready and the one the club may make sure he makes by shelving him until then. One telling scene from last week's Hard Knocks has trainer Paul Sparling telling Palmer it's going to bother him for a long time.

"Hope not," Palmer said. "That's kind of what we're trying to (do); nip the problem in the bud. Not come back too early. Not try to do too much too fast. Get it as good as it can possibly be by the 13th."

MYTH MAKING: Bengals rookie defensive end Michael Johnson was supposed to have an inconsistent motor and a lack of toughness. As special teams coach Darrin Simmons said Saturday, "It just goes to show you the resiliency the guy's got and he knows what's been put out there prior to the draft and going into the draft and after the draft. That was his M.O. We've seen no part of that. We've seen exactly the opposite if you ask me."

Johnson is showing he can play hurt. Simmons said he took "huge strides" on special teams between the first and second games but backed him off last Thursday night "because he's got a variety of ailments."

But those injuries (a tweaked shoulder) didn't stop Johnson from making his first NFL start at right end, as well as taking about five snaps at left end.

THREE CUTS: The Bengals cut three Saturday morning and still need to let go two more players by Tuesday's cutdown to 75.

Nine-year cornerback Jamar Fletcher, who played in 11 games for the Bengals last season, was waived after he had been re-signed during the first couple of days of this training camp in the wake of David Jones' broken foot.

The Bengals also cut two rookie free agents with local ties who never got into a preseason game, defensive tackle Pernell Phillips of Central State and Purdue wide receiver Greg Orton. Phillips, a product of  Cincinnati's Taft High School, had been shelved with a muscle injury. Orton, out of Dayton, Ohio's Wayne High School, practiced but didn't play.

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