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Yeast, Keaton catch eyes

Bengals coach Dick LeBeau wouldn't divulge how he'll change his lineup Wednesday. Instead, he said he'll see what takes place in practice this week before making a call.

Don't just look at right cornerback for a possible switch, where the Bengals could end up splitting time with Artrell Hawkins and Rodney Heath.

Third receiver Craig Yeast may not start, but he could see some significantly more action because LeBeau has noticed his production and indicated he might roll some people through the split end spot opposite flanker Peter Warrick.

Rookie running back Curtis Keaton could also start getting some snaps as the Bengals look to take advantage of his speed, possibly on third down.

"We're looking for the best possible combinations," LeBeau said. "We're going to get these guys that are producing on the field."

The 5-10, 210-pound Keaton's quickness has caught LeBeau's eye: "We like Keaton's big-play potential. When he shows us he's ready to handle it, and I think he is, we'd like to see what he can do for our offense. He's got a lot of speed and a history of making big plays and break-away plays. I don't think there's an offensive coach who doesn't want someone who can go the distance." . . more

Keaton, a fourth-round pick out of James Madison, had an 80-yard run last season in averaging 5.5 yards on 314 carries. He also had a 66-yarder as a junior, but the Bengals would like to see him be more effective catching the ball.

Yeast has the same number of catches as starting split end Ron Dugans (6), but has more yards (74-47) and a bigger longest catch (25-12). But LeBeau also likes the rookie Dugans.

"He was a big factor in the running game against Miami," LeBeau said. "He executed well and played with a lot of spirit. He blocked hard and ran hard. A lot of Corey's (Dillon) runs were because of Ron and the tight ends' and Peter Warrick's catches were because of Ron. He showed us he was an unselfish player."

DILLON NOT FOR SALE: The NFL trading deadline is Tuesday, but at the moment Bengals running back Corey Dillon isn't on the block. Dillon, working on a one-year deal in what could be his last season in Cincinnati, has become the centerpiece of the bid to regain respectability by LeBeau and offensive coordinator Ken Anderson.

"We're looking for everyone to help us get back up and running," said Bengals President Mike Brown. "And we need everyone to contribute. Corey is coming off his best game and if we want our quarterback (Akili Smith) to get to where we think he can be, we'll need a strong running game." . .more

There were clubs interested in dealing for Dillon before the NFL Draft, but now virtually no team can pick up what's left of his $3 million salary. Plus, the team that was interested (Kansas City) and the team that might have been interested (Miami) are getting better production than they thought in the running game.

ANDERSON QUESTIONABLE: RT Willie Anderson (hyperextended right knee) didn't practice Wednesday and trainer Paul Sparling doubts he'll work Thursday. Which means the Bengals won't know until Friday if Titans sack artist Jevon Kearse will be opposite Anderson or backup right tackle Jamain Stephens. The Titans are flopping Kearse more this year from left end to right, but is at left end about 85 percent of the time.

Kearse, who set a rookie record last season with 14.5 sacks, has 1.5 this season. But the Bengals have to be concerned because Kearse hasn't had one in two games.

BOOKER DECISION DUE: No news is good news from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., regarding Bengals defensive end Vaughn Booker. The club is looking for final clearance Thursday as Booker waits for a final test stemming from his fainting episode Sept. 17 in Jacksonville. He's out for this week's game, but the Bengals hope he can be back to practice next week.

TICKETS AVAILABLE: The Bengals are fewer than 4,000 tickets shy of a sellout at Paul Brown Stadium for Sunday's 1 p.m. game against the Titans. The club must have a sellout by 1 p.m. Thursday for the game to be televised locally.

Tickets can be ordered by phone from the Bengals ticket office at 513-621-8383, on, by phone at TicketMaster at 513-562-4949, or at TicketMaster outlets in Greater Cincinnati Thriftway Stores and select Kroger stores outside the metro area.

Tickets can be bought at the ticket office at the team's Paul Brown Stadium office near Gate E on the southeast side. Hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

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