Indicators point towards Palmer missing rest of year

Published 1:29 am Tuesday, November 11, 2008

With seven games left, there’s no indication that Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer will play in any of them.

The Bengals acknowledged on Monday that Palmer will miss his fifth straight game because of an injured passing elbow. Ryan Fitzpatrick will start in his place against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.

Palmer hurt the elbow during a 26-23 overtime loss to the Giants in the third week of the season and played in only one more game. He has been doing rehabilitation work to try to get the elbow healthy enough to play again this season.

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During the team’s bye weekend, Palmer went back to California and had the elbow checked out. He declined to be interviewed Monday, saying through a team spokesman that nothing had changed.

The Bengals (1-8) got their first win without Palmer in their last game, a 21-19 victory over Jacksonville. Fitzpatrick threw a pair of touchdown passes to Chad Ocho Cinco and had his best game yet as the starting quarterback.

Coach Marvin Lewis said Palmer would miss practice again this week to concentrate on his rehabilitation. There’s no indication when he might test the elbow to see if it’s healed.

‘‘Same plan,’’ Lewis said. ‘‘Hasn’t changed. It’s where it’s been.

‘‘Everything seems to be on schedule as far as everybody can tell, which they won’t know until they say, ‘Hey, go ahead and start throwing.’ There’s been no indication he needs surgery, other than that would be a drastic measure.’’

Palmer isn’t ready to give up the notion of playing this season, even though he’s starting to run out of time. He said originally it could take up to eight weeks for the elbow to heal and get back to full strength, a timetable that could bring him back for December.

‘‘The biggest thing is he would like to play, so they’re going to go through the timetable they set for him and stick to it,’’ Lewis said.

Some of Palmer’s teammates think it would be unwise for him to play this season.

‘‘You want to play because this is what you love to do and it’s fun, but you have to think beyond that and be reasonable and understand you have a career ahead of yourself,’’ receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh said Monday. ‘‘It’s never dawned on me that Carson would come back and play. I’ve always thought that: just rest and get ready for next year. The way this has gone, there’s no reason to put him out there and jeopardize next year or the rest of his career.’’