August 25, 2008
An ugly preseason has led to a rough nickname for Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer. After he broke his nose late in the first half Saturday night against visiting New Orleans, teammates jokingly dubbed him Owen Wilson – the actor with the not-so-straight nose.
"That thing looked ugly after the game, all pushed over to the right," a Bengals source said. "Carson was (really angry) about that one."
Palmer had what the team said Sunday was a 10-minute procedure to "gently put the bone back in place under local anesthetic." Palmer is not expected to play Thursday in the preseason finale against the Colts, but is expected to open the season against Baltimore on Sept. 7.
Bengals offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski told reporters after the game that there were numerous blocking errors in pass protection. Privately, Bratkowski and head coach Marvin Lewis ripped the offense for the poor play, according to two sources in the organization.
At one point, Bratkowski told the players that the offense "couldn't move the ball the length of" something that is considered a very short distance.
The Bengals are hoping to see significant improvement in the offense by the time they open the season. In six first-half possessions before Palmer was hurt, the Bengals punted each time, suffered three sacks and Palmer was knocked down two other times.
Cincinnati was playing without starting wide receivers T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Chad Johnson. Overall in the preseason in 14 possessions with Palmer at quarterback, they have scored only one touchdown and had a field goal attempt blocked.
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