Marvin Lewis gave the Bengals an overall clean bill of health on Wednesday as the team began preparations for Sunday’s game at the Meadowlands against the New York Giants. That doesn’t mean a 100 percent healthy team, however.
Safety Dexter Jackson has already been listed as out for Sunday’s game with a thumb injury. Five others did not practice Wednesday: safety Herana-Daze Jones (hamstring), cornerback Johnathan Joseph (ankle), tight end Reggie Kelly (head), defensive tackle John Thornton (knee) and tight end Ben Utecht (chest). Safety Chinedum Ndukwe (knee) was limited in practice, while quarterback Carson Palmer (ankle) practiced fully.
“It's good,” said Palmer. “I'll be full practice all week and ready to go on Sunday.”
Palmer injured the ankle in last Sunday’s 24-7 loss to Tennessee but did not miss any plays because of it.
Jones, Joseph and Utecht are not expected to play against the Giants. The rest of the week will determine Thornton and Kelly’s status.
“I’m just day-to-day right now,” said Joseph, who leads the team with four pass breakups. “It’s a blow, as far as me, because I want to go out there and help my teammates in the game. I want to be out there fighting with those guys. But I think if I’m not able to play we’ve got the guys that will be able to get the job done.”
GIANTS HEALTHY – Besides being 2-0 to start the season, New York is in good shape on the injury front. Cornerback R.W. McQuarters (calf) is the only player who did not participate in practice Wednesday.
NOT A GOOD OMEN - This is the 14th time in their 41 seasons that the Bengals have started off 0-2. Only twice before (in 1980 and 1996) did they win their third game and on just three occasions did they not finish with a losing record; they finished at 8-8 in 1984, 1996 and 2003.
There were 10 teams in the NFL last season that started 0-2; only the Giants at 10-6 finished with a winning record. Philadelphia finished 8-8.
IT WORKED BEFORE – Chad Ocho Cinco isn’t buying into the thought that there is a rift in the locker room with the rocky start of the season. There is one thing he would like to see return, however, from the team’s 2005 playoff season.
“As an offense we would all go to dinner. I think Big Willie (Anderson) used to do that,” said Ocho Cinco. “I’m going to tell Carson that.”
Anderson, who is now with Baltimore, organized the outings each week at a different restaurant. The Bengals went 11-5 and won the AFC North that season.
“Every week for 16 weeks we went out to eat as an offense to get that chemistry,” said Ocho Cinco. “I don’t know if that had anything to do with it but whatever it was it was working. Whatever it is going to take to get us back.”