Reuben Droughns plans to play against the Bengals Sunday. Just to make sure, he spent his time before practice in the trainer's room, getting treatment on his sore knee. He apologized to the media through a team spokesman for not being in the locker room Friday. Coach Romeo Crennel is undecided about whether Droughns' backup Sunday will be Lee Suggs or William Green. The guessing is it will be Suggs, who has yet to have a carry this season.
Joe Andruzzi is expected to play Sunday after missing three games with a calf injury, Crennel said Friday. Crennel was hopeful Andruzzi would play last week against Jacksonville, but his calf hadn't healed sufficiently. Andruzzi is listed as questionable. He was questionable last week after being listed as doubtful for two weeks. He was not been limited in practice this week.
The Bengals, 9-3, are fighting for more than a playoff spot. They hope to earn a first-round bye. To do that they would have to finish with the second best record in the AFC, assuming the Colts, 12-0, finish with the best record in the conference. The Broncos, the AFC West leaders, are also 9-3. Coincidentally, the final four opponents of the Bengals and Broncos have identical records. The Bengals play the Browns (4-8), at Detroit (4-8), Buffalo (4-8) and at Kansas City (8-4). The Broncos host Baltimore (4-8), play at Buffalo (4-8), host Oakland (4-8) and visit San Diego (8-4). "We're not thinking about being spoilers," Droughns said Wednesday. "We just want to go down there and get a win for ourselves and our fans."
The Bengals are 9-3, five games better than the Browns, and they have allowed 239 points, which is 25 more than the Browns have allowed. The Browns rank 16th in the league defensively and the Bengals rank 28th. So why are the Bengals so much better? The Bengals are plus-24 in takeaway/giveaway and the Browns are minus six, a difference of 30 turnovers, which works out to a difference of 2.5 turnovers a game.