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Mid-Week Team and Personnel Notes

This week's team and player notes contains a spit take, some stats, some player notes and other Bengals-like goodness. Dig in, and then join us in <A HREF="http://mb2.scout.com/bbengalsinsider">the Bengals Insider forums!</A>

Uh, spitting was a hot topic at Paul Brown Stadium on Monday, the day after expectoration made big news in the NFL.

Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, asked Monday about the fight before the Steelers-Browns game Sunday, said that one of his players was spit on during the Washington game.

Lewis would not mention the Bengals player, but it is believed to be wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh, who confronted Redskins safety Sean Taylor after Cincinnati's 17-10 victory.

"We had a player spit on (Sunday), and that is not right," Lewis said. "It has been something that has been escalating from certain players.

"Hopefully the league will do something to cut it out. It has been addressed before, so hopefully it will continue to be addressed. We know certain players want to come and try to intimidate you during warm ups and beat their chests. I'm just glad this is not an issue with our players."

Houshmandzadeh, unavailable Monday, would not say Sunday what Taylor did during the game but called the rookie defensive back "a punk."

Before the Pittsburgh-Cleveland game, Steelers linebacker Joey Porter and Browns running back William Green were ejected for fighting. The two players reportedly spit on each other.

Each side said Monday that the other side started the incident in Cleveland.

TEAM NOTES

  • The Bengals are no longer last in the NFL in rush defense. They jumped two spots, to No. 30, at 142.7 yards a game. Kansas City and New Orleans are Nos. 31 and 32 against the run.
     
  • The Bengals will begin their second go-around Sunday with their smash-mouth AFC North rivals. They'll be looking to avenge three consecutive division losses in Games 3-5 earlier this season. The Steelers and Browns visit Cincinnati on consecutive Sundays before the Bengals travel to Baltimore.

    "It helps that we play two of the last three division games at home," coach Marvin Lewis said Monday, a day after his Bengals pulled to 4-5 after defeating Washington of the NFC East.

    "We have to make plays and finish. This week we have the Steelers at home, and that is all we are concentrating on right now."
     
  • Since division re-alignment began in 2002, the Bengals are 3-12 against the AFC North. They are 11-15 against opponents outside the division.
     
  • Pittsburgh moved past Washington as the NFL's No. 1-rated defense this week. The Steelers are giving up just 257.9 yards a game. The game will be the third in the past five that the Bengals will face the league's top-ranked defense. The Bengals gained 321 yards and scored 23 points against Denver, a 23-10 victory. Then they gained 316 yards and scored 17 points in beating Washington.
     
  • The Bengals lead the NFL with 24 takeaways. Pittsburgh is second with 22. Both teams have recovered 11 fumbles. The Bengals have 13 interceptions.


PLAYER NOTES

  • RT Willie Anderson (knee) who, on a bad knee, made a 73rd consecutive start Sunday at Washington, will be one of six Bengals players listed as questionable on Wednesday.
     
  • CB Deltha O'Neal (elbow contusion) is questionable for Pittsburgh.
     
  • RB Chris Perry (abdomen) will be questionable.
     
  • CB Rashad Bauman( Achilles) is questionable.
     
  • DL Carl Powell (knee) is questionable.
     
  • LB Caleb Miller (ankle) is expected to be listed as questionable for the game Sunday at Washington, coach Marvin Lewis said. Miller sprained his ankle on his first play against Dallas.



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