Sunday, August 17, 2003

Bengals notebook: First hit no trouble for rookie

Wide receiver Washington takes shot on old neck injury

By Kevin Kelly
The Cincinnati Enquirer


Photos of Saturday's game
If there were any lingering doubt about the health of his surgically repaired neck, Kelley Washington ended it Saturday.

The rookie wide receiver, who missed the Bengals' first preseason game to have a doctor examine his neck, caught two passes for 12 yards.

The second reception, a 7-yarder that put the Bengals at the 9-yard-line with 7:24 remaining in the second quarter, witnessed Washington taking a hard hit in the neck area.

"I caught the ball in traffic and they gave me a good lick," he said. "It just felt good to get that hit over with and get back up and just move on from there."

MOVING ON UP: Adrian Ross started in place of Steve Foley at strong-side linebacker.

Ross, who started six games last season and lost 15 pounds during the offseason, had three tackles.

"I'm just trying to take the opportunity that I've been given and make the best of it," he said. "I don't know if it's permanent or if they want to make it a starting competition. I'm not taking it that it's totally my job."

RACK 'EM: The Bengals took a 9-0 lead on the strength of three field goals by Neil Rackers.

He converted attempts of 21, 31 and 44 yards.

"The feet definitely were wet last week, but that was literally," Rackers said. "It was nice to get a few under our belt, get some opportunities to get on the field.

"It's a good chance to let the new coaching staff know that you can come out in any situation."

EXCUSED ABSENCE: The Bengals excused wide receiver Peter Warrick so he could attend his grandfather's funeral.

Warrick's status for Saturday's game was expected to be a last-minute decision after twisting his ankle in practice Wednesday.

Danny Farmer took Warrick's place in the starting lineup. Farmer caught two passes for 44 yards.

INJURY REPORT: Cornerback Jeff Burris and wide receiver Ron Dugans were scratched with Achilles tendonitis.

Defensive tackle Ron Smith (hamstring), middle linebacker Tito Rodriguez (knee) and tight end Matt Schobel (hamstring) also were inactive.

ODDS AND ENDS: Bengals captains were cornerback Artrell Hawkins, tight end Reggie Kelly and long snapper Brad St. Louis. . . . Wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh accounted for 100 total yards and one touchdown. He led all Bengals receivers with 51 yards and returned three punts for 49 yards. . . . Because of the blackout this week in Detroit, the Lions bused to Cincinnati for the game. According to the Detroit Free-Press, the Lions needed eight buses to accommodate those who went on the five-hour trip.

Bengals 23, Lions 10
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