Friday, November 7, 2003

Injured Dillon says he's not ready


RB wants to be 100 percent healthy before playing

By Mark Curnutte
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Corey Dillon said he doesn't want to play again until he is completely healthy, and doesn't think he will play Sunday against Houston.

"If it was up to me, no, and it's my groin," Dillon told the team's Web site Thursday.

The tailback is listed as questionable with a groin strain. Coach Marvin Lewis declined to respond to Dillon's comments.

"We're trying to get him completely healthy," Lewis said after practice Thursday, the second Dillon has missed in as many days.

"That's not fair," Lewis said when asked why Dillon was not on the practice field. "He was doing what he was supposed to."

Dillon has played in only one full game this season, the opener, and has played in parts of three games since injuring the groin Sept. 21 against the Steelers. He previously has said he could play at less than 100 percent. He ran for 5 yards on seven carries Sunday at Arizona and has just a 3-yard average on 69 attempts. Now, he said, he can't produce at less than full strength.

"Not for what I want to do," said Dillon, who speaks to only selected reporters. "I like to play with reckless abandon and crash into people. (At) 85 percent, am I better than most people in the league? Probably.

"But 85 percent (isn't) cutting it by my standards. I've got to be full tilt in order to accomplish what I want to accomplish."

Rudi Johnson relieved Dillon at Cleveland and Arizona and started in his place the two times Dillon was de-activated this season.

Johnson showed more strength, speed and quickness than Dillon against the Cardinals and has a team-leading 260 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns.

E-mail mcurnutte@enquirer.com




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