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Palmer Done for the Season?

CINCINNATI (AP) - Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer will rest
this week while getting more medical opinions on a sore passing
elbow that could sideline him for much more than the next game
against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
His two Pro Bowl receivers think he ought to pack it in for the
season.
Palmer will miss his third game because of the elbow, injured
when his arm was hit as he threw a pass during a 26-23 overtime
loss to the New York Giants on Sept. 21. He played against the
Dallas Cowboys two weeks later, but had to back off because the
injury limited his ability to make certain throws.
Ryan Fitzpatrick replaced Palmer for a 26-14 loss to the New
York Jets last Sunday. Palmer stayed behind in New York after the
game and got a second opinion from Dr. David Altchek, who works
with the Mets. Altchek agreed with the Bengals that a cautious
approach was best.
"Nothing's really changed," coach Marvin Lewis said Wednesday.
"He's still trying to get different people's opinions, specialists
in this area, of what the best courses of action are. And right
now, the best course of action is still to rest. (That's) what he's
been told."
Following the loss to the Jets, Lewis said the injury involves a
tendon in Palmer's elbow. The quarterback has said it could take up
to two months for the injury to heal completely.
Palmer declined to talk to reporters Wednesday about the latest
update.
Fitzpatrick will make his third start of the season against the
Steelers (4-1), who lead the AFC North and have won their last six
games in Cincinnati. The Bengals are 0-6 for the sixth time in the
last 18 years, and some of Palmer's teammates think there's no
reason to let him play and risk further injury.
"I think the issue with (Palmer) is a lot more serious than
playing this year," receiver Chad Ocho Cinco said. "We're talking
about his career in general. If it means sitting out this year or
play another 20 or who knows how long he'll be able to go, I think
it'd be in his best interests to sit out."
Lewis said doctors agree on the nature of the injury, but there
is some uncertainty over the best way to get it healed.
"It's just what kind of rest period and what is the best course
of action if that doesn't help it mend," Lewis said. "Right now,
surgery is not an option."
Receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh agreed with Ocho Cinco that it
would be best for the team long-term to rest Palmer for the
remainder of the season.
"I would agree with that," Houshmandzadeh said. "Whether that
will happen, I'm not sure. Carson wants to play; he's a veteran.
But it would be the smart thing to do."
Palmer has been remarkably durable. He tore ligaments in his
left knee and dislocated the kneecap during a playoff loss to the
Steelers in 2005, but didn't miss a game the next season. He took
every snap last season, rare for a starting quarterback in the NFL.
This season has been the opposite. Under heavy pressure much of
the time, he's already suffered several injuries. He broke his nose
during a preseason game, then sprained his left ankle and had his
nose bloodied again during the regular season.
The elbow injury forced him to the sideline for the first time
since the end of the 2004 season, when he had a sprained knee.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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