Saturday, October 16, 2004

Braham's return means OL intact for 1st time this year


Bengals notebook

By Mark Curnutte
Enquirer staff writer

The Bengals will have their starting offensive line together Sunday for the first time since the season finale in 2003.

Center Rich Braham, inactive the past two games because of post-surgery knee complications, will start Sunday at Cleveland, coach Marvin Lewis said Friday.

"He brings a familiarity and knowledge of the way things have been coached here since Bob (Bratkowski) took over as coordinator," Lewis said of Braham.

Jerry Fontenot, a 16-year veteran signed as a free agent signed Sept. 16, started the previous three games. He adds depth to a Bengals offensive line that appears deeper than at any time in recent history.

"We helped ourselves from where we started the season with the addition of Jerry," Lewis said. "We'll play both guys."

Beside Fontenot, the Bengals acquired guard-center Larry Moore in the offseason. Moore started at left guard before moving to center in place of Braham in the season opener.

The Bengals can use Moore at left guard and could move Eric Steinbach to left tackle if Levi Jones gets hurt. Moore injured a knee against the Jets and was inactive for two games before dressing but not playing at Pittsburgh.

The starting line, back in place, consists of Braham, Steinbach, Jones, right guard Bobbie Williams and right tackle Willie Anderson.

OTHER INJURIES: Safeties Kevin Kaesviharn (back) and Kim Herring (foot) were upgraded to probable Friday and practiced for the fourth consecutive time.

Cornerback Terrell Roberts was added as questionable with "illness." He did not practice.

Whether defensive lineman Carl Powell (knee) plays against the Browns will be a game-time decision, Lewis said. Powell remained questionable Friday and did not practice.

As of Friday afternoon, just three Bengals were out because in injury: wide receiver Peter Warrick (shin), cornerback Rashad Bauman (Achilles) and safety Rogers Beckett (concussion).

TRANSACTIONS: For the second consecutive day, the Bengals lost a young player from their practice squad.

Jacksonville signed second-year defensive end Elton Patterson to its 53-man roster.

A Bengals seventh-round draft pick in 2003, Patterson played in two games this season.

"It's a good opportunity for Elton," Lewis said. "They need a guy who can come in and play right away. He was excited about it. There was not much we could do about it."

On Thursday, Carolina signed rookie wide receiver Jamall Broussard off the Bengals' practice squad and to its active roster.

The Bengals replaced Broussard on the practice squad Friday by re-signing rookie linebacker Allen Augustin. There was no word late Friday on a possible replacement for Patterson.

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E-mail mcurnutte@enquirer.com




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