Palmer expecting to play against Dallas

Published 4:38 am Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Quarterback Carson Palmer expects to be limited in practice this week by a sore elbow, but insists he’ll be ready for the Cincinnati Bengals’ next game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Palmer sat out a 20-12 loss to the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, the first game he missed since the end of the 2004 season. He hurt his right elbow a week earlier in a loss to the Giants, but finished that game and practiced for two days last week before backing off.

The Bengals decided to sit him against Cleveland on doctors’ advice, giving the elbow time to heal. Palmer indicated Monday that the injury isn’t serious enough to require surgery.

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The Bengals struggled behind backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who hadn’t thrown a pass in a regular-season game since 2005. The Bengals are 0-4 for the first time in six years, with their next game Sunday in Dallas against a team coming off its first loss.

‘‘I’ve already made up my mind I’m playing,’’ Palmer said Monday. ‘‘I’m going to do what I can in practice and do what they let me do, but I’m 100 percent expecting to play going into this game, and planning on playing. I’ll probably be limited in practice, but I’ll do what I can.’’

Coach Marvin Lewis is going day-by-day with his franchise quarterback. He’ll see how the elbow is doing on Wednesday, then decide whether to let him practice.

‘‘It’s possible he could play on Sunday,’’ Lewis said.

Palmer’s arm was hit while he threw a pass against the Giants, hurting the elbow. He told the team about the injury last Wednesday, the first day of practice for the game against Cleveland. After two days of practice, Palmer told the team that the elbow was limiting him, but he wanted to keep playing.

‘‘In his terms, he wasn’t having much difficulty,’’ Lewis said Monday. ‘‘But there were some things he wanted to do that he didn’t feel very comfortable with. It was brought to our attention, and that’s why the evaluations were done.’’

Palmer didn’t fully practice on Friday, when he showed up on the team’s injury report for the first time. Based on the doctors’ advice after an exam, Lewis decided to start Fitzpatrick even though Palmer was adamant that he could play.

‘‘It was kind of a confusing week,’’ Palmer said. ‘‘Some stuff happened that possibly shouldn’t have happened. Just confusing. I felt like I wanted to play and I prepared all week like I did. Then it came down to a deal where the doctors just said no.’’

Also Monday, the Bengals got a one-week roster exemption for receiver Chris Henry, who has completed a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s conduct policy. Henry will be allowed to practice with the team this week, but doesn’t have to be added to the active roster.

To play against the Cowboys and former West Virginia teammate Adam ‘‘Pacman’’ Jones, Henry would have to be added to the roster by Saturday. Both Henry and Jones were drafted in 2005 and have been in trouble repeatedly, factoring into commissioner Roger Goodell’s decision to toughen the league’s conduct policy.

Henry was allowed to practice with the Bengals near the end of his eight-game suspension last season, and the team activated him as soon as possible. This time, he wasn’t allowed to practice with the team during the suspension. Lewis wants to find out whether he’s in shape to play.

‘‘It’s a little different,’’ Lewis said. ‘‘Last year he was given the ability to practice with us for a couple weeks at the end of the suspension, so it’s a completely different situation.’’

The Bengals released Henry in the offseason after his fifth arrest. Lewis said publicly that he didn’t want the troubled receiver on his team, but owner Mike Brown brought him back anyway, undercutting his head coach.