Bengals WR Johnson plans to sit out finale

CINCINNATI (Ticker) - Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis on Monday said he will take a wait-and-see approach on wide receiver Chad Johnson’s hamstring injury.

Johnson said he would prefer to wait - until next season.

The flamboyant wide receiver told the Cincinnati Enquirer he plans on sitting out the regular-season finale against the Kansas City Chiefs to rest his ailing hamstring.

“I don’t know if it’s something you want to play with and rush right now,” Johnson said. “I’ve never had a hamstring problem. I haven’t had any problems, except for this year with my shoulder. The ankle was nothing. I chose to play on that for a few years. I came back from the (separated) shoulder quickly, almost two weeks time, ready for the opener.

“(But) a hamstring is really not something you want to play with. Being a muscle, you can’t control when it’s right or when it heals. It needs rest. There’s no reason to really rush back at this time.”

Asked Monday about the status of the team’s injured players, including Johnson, Lewis said: “We’ll see where they are toward the end of the week.”

Johnson, who sat out last week’s 14-0 victory over the Cleveland Browns due to the injury, is having his worst season since his rookie campaign in 2001.

After posting at least 87 receptions in five consecutive seasons, Johnson had 53 catches for 540 yards and just four touchdowns.

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Updated Tuesday, Dec 23, 2008