Posted: 4:30 a.m.
NEW ORLEANS - When Carson Palmer saw the horrified look of someone that just glimpsed his left foot in a walking boot, he motioned down with his hands.
"Take it easy. It's just precaution. I'm fine," Palmer said after suffering a mild high ankle sprain on the 11th play of the season in Friday's preseason opener claimed by the Saints, 17-7.
But no one could say for sure if he'll be back to practice Monday or play Thursday in New England. It appears the Bengals will have a better idea in 24 hours, but no one feared it would be a long-term injury that would take him out of the Sept. 13 opener.
It was a little more cautious after the game. At halftime, both head coach Marvin Lewis and Palmer said Palmer would be back next week. Asked if he'll be back next week, Lewis said, "Should be, but we'll see." He did play eight more snaps after he got hurt and Palmer said there was "no question" he could play if he had to.
"I played with it," he said. "It's early in preseason. It's still early in training camp. I want to work. I've got a lot of work to do and I don't wan to miss any time. We'll see."
Translation: Why play him if he doesn't have to?
The play came on first-and-10 from the Saints 35 when Palmer pumped back in the pocket and the ball slipped out of his hand.
"It was a miscommunication on a route," Palmer said. "I thought it was an incomplete pass, but I picked it up just to make sure and it got rolled up on."