Bengals missing a run stopper

Adrian Peterson is coming off the second-worst output of his career, but he could have a chance for a big game Sunday. The Bengals will be missing a key component in their run defense.

The Bengals will be without their top run stopper on the defensive line on Sunday at Minnesota after defensive tackle Domata Peko had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on Monday.

The fourth-year player injured the knee during the Oct. 22 game at Oakland. He came back the following week to play against Cleveland, but re-tweaked it and it got progressively worse.

He missed last Sunday's 23-13 win over Detroit, which ended a string of 59 straight games played.

Said coach Marvin Lewis of Peko's surgery: "Sometimes the different scans show different things, and so they did another scan last week and felt like probably the thing to do was to go in and ‘scope it and he would recover quicker."

Lewis would not put a definitive time frame on how long Peko would be out, but he is definitely out for this week's game and probably out for the Dec. 20 contest at San Diego. Lewis also said that Peko would not miss the rest of the season.

The Bengals will also be without running back Bernard Scott for the Vikings game as he continues to recover from the turf toe injury he suffered against the Browns. All indications, however, are that safety Chris Crocker, who injured his ankle during the first quarter of Sunday's game, would be ready to play.

Offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth has felt as if the 9-3 Bengals have been in a playoff stretch mode since the loss to Oakland two weeks ago, but he acknowledged that Sunday's game against the 10-2 Vikings will have a different feel.

"It's like a big division game, and you're going on the road against an elite team, but it doesn't change what we do," he said. "Anytime you're going against a team of that caliber, you get a chance to see how you develop as a team."


  • Sunday's game will mark only the second meeting between Carson Palmer and Brett Favre. Palmer and the Bengals won 21-14 in a 2005 game that featured a fan running out of stands and taking the ball out of Favre's hands.

    Palmer was 22 of 34 for 237 yards with three touchdowns and an interception.

    When the Bengals played the Jets last year, Palmer was out with an elbow injury and did not get the chance to face Favre.

    "I thought I got my only chance four years ago, and he's back. I'm excited," Palmer said. "He's a guy I grew up watching and a fan ever since I've been a fan of the NFL."

  • Linebacker Rey Maualuga said the audio-video of the Bengals linebacking corps singing "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" that was shown late in the game Sunday on the video board at Paul Brown Stadium was the idea of Dhani Jones.

    "Abdul (Hodge) has a squeaky high voice, so we made him do that part, and Keith (Rivers) is Keith, so we made him sing a part," Maualuga said. "It took about a half-hour to shoot it."

    Somebody asked Maualuga if he is going to lobby for a solo the next time the Bengals hit the studio. No, Maualuga said. His goal in the Santa Claus song was to not mess up the sound by getting overly involved.

    "I was trying to lip-sync," Maualuga said with a laugh.

  • Receiver Andre Caldwell, a former Florida Gator, said he has watched the Cincinnati Bearcats play on TV every chance he's had this season. He said he loves watching their "high-powered" offense.

    "I saw all of the Pittsburgh game. I can't believe the way they came back," he said.

    He said he's expecting a heck of a game between Cincinnati and Florida in the Sugar Bowl.

  • S Chinedum Ndukwe was one of three players with eight tackles during Sunday's game.

  • RB Brian Leonard continued his role as the third-down back and had two receptions for 25 yards.

  • WR Quan Cosby was used on a couple of offensive series and had a reverse for minus-2 yards.

  • LG Nate Livings looks like he has taken over the starting spot from Evan Mathis.

  • RT Andre Smith continued to see extensive action as a backup, mainly in unbalanced line sets.

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