Ryan Fitzpatrick started in place of Palmer in Sunday's 26-14 loss against the Jets at the Meadowlands and Palmer remained in New York to seek the second opinion of Dr. David Altchek concerning the quarterback's right elbow. Palmer has sat out two of the last three games with inflammation that was caused by a hit he suffered in the Bengals' 26-23 overtime loss against the New York Giants on Sept. 21 also at the Meadowlands.
"Some further study and scans were done, and what (Dr. Altchek) recommended is a further conservative approach right now," said head coach Marvin Lewis on Monday afternoon. At the time of his press conference Lewis had not yet spoken to Palmer in person.
"I'll talk with Carson further more in person about what the doctor thought and what he felt like the options were," said Lewis. "Until I talk with Carson in person and I think the medical people, that's where I'm going with, will be more of an update later, and we'll see. But I don't think any option's been closed off at this point. Let's just see what's the best thing. I want to talk with Carson and see where he is. He's texted me a couple of times, but I just want to see what his thoughts are."
Fitzpatrick and the Bengals offense managed just one touchdown in 10 possessions against the Jets to go along with 171 total yards. Fitzpatrick scored on a 1-yard run with eight seconds left before halftime to leave the Bengals down just three points, 17-14, but they could muster just 39 yards and three first downs on their first five drives of the second half while they were still within striking distance of the Jets.
Fitzpatrick completed 20 of 33 passes for 152 yards but was sacked five times, including once in the first half in which he lost a fumble that led to a New York touchdown.
For the season, Fitzpatrick has completed 60.3 percent of his throws (41 of 68) for 308 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. Jordan Palmer is the team's No. 3 quarterback.
"I thought Ryan did a lot better things than he did a couple of weeks ago. We still want to make sure we're 100 percent taking care of the football," said Lewis. "I think Ryan will keep playing better and better for us. We've got to keep playing better and better around him, as well. I think that's important. That's our task. Ryan is going be the guy this week, and we've got to keep doing everything we can, in every area, to make sure everybody lives up to their task and their job and puts us in position to win the football game."
The Bengals are ranked 31st in the league in overall offense, including 31st when it comes to running the ball and 26th throwing it. Only Cleveland (heading into Monday night's game against the Giants) is ranked lower than the Bengals in overall offense, while Indianapolis is ranked last in rush offense.
Cincinnati is ranked 29th in the league in scoring, averaging 14.7 points per game. Two of the Bengals' touchdowns this season have been scored by the defense, including a 15-yard fumble return for six points by safety Chinedum Ndukwe on the third play of the game against the Jets.
It was the first touchdown scored in the first quarter of any of their games this season by the Bengals.
"We have spent a lot of time on that today," said Lewis on Monday about the offensive ineptitude. "I think everybody involved is trying really hard to turn over every stone and find every way we can to find a way of how we can block more consistently in the running game, and be more consistent in pass protection."