|RT Willie Anderson will miss Bengals game in KC, ending streak of 116 consecutive starts|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 10 October 2007 13:15|
CINCINNATI (AP) -Right tackle Willie Anderson will be sidelined for the Cincinnati Bengals' game Sunday in Kansas City, ending his streak of 116 consecutive starts and leaving the offensive line in flux.|
The Bengals (1-3) hoped that their bye week would allow them to get back some of their injured players, but they're still severely limited heading into a pivotal game.
Linebackers Ahmad Brooks and Rashad Jeanty are expected to miss the game, leaving a hole in one of the league's worst defenses. Running back Rudi Johnson and linebacker Caleb Miller also sat out practice on Wednesday with lingering injuries.
There was one encouraging sign: Chad Johnson fully participated in practice. The Pro Bowl receiver wore a boot on his left foot last week, helping him recover from a mild ankle sprain.
``We'll be fine,'' Chad Johnson said. ``I think that bye was perfect. We've got a lot of people coming back that will be healthy.''
Actually, it's not that many. And the list doesn't include Anderson, who has anchored the line during his 12-year career.
Anderson hasn't missed a game since 1999, putting together the sixth-longest streak in franchise history and the longest by an offensive lineman. He had to leave a 34-13 loss to New England on Oct. 1 after the first series.
Anderson has been bothered by chronic pain in his right foot, which forced him to sit out most of training camp. While playing with that problem, he has also hurt the leg - coach Marvin Lewis has forbidden him to get into specifics.
``You guys know I haven't been myself, obviously, because I haven't played a lot,'' Anderson said Wednesday. ``You guys have seen that I haven't been up to my usual standards. I was able to play with it last year. I've played with it for a year or two now. Other things have come up.''
Anderson expects to be back in the lineup at some point this season, although he can't guess how soon that will be. He never put much emphasis on the streak.
``My job is to show up every Sunday, whether I was playing hurt,'' Anderson said. ``It just so happened to be how many weeks it was. I never played to keep a streak going.''
Stacy Andrews, who started the first three games at left guard, will move to right tackle while Anderson recuperates. Levi Jones is expected to start at left tackle even though he limped through the loss to New England.
Right guard Bobbie Williams is the only lineman who hasn't been moved around because of injuries. Despite all the shifting, the Bengals have given up only five sacks in four games.
``Considering all the shuffles and everything that's going on, I feel we've done a good job,'' Jones said.
The defense has been a mess.
The Bengals were down to two healthy linebackers against New England after Landon Johnson got poked in the eye and left with blurry vision. He's expected to play in Kansas City.
Without Brooks and Miller, the Bengals didn't have an experienced middle linebacker. Brooks strained groin muscles in a game Sept. 16 at Cleveland, and aggravated the injury while practicing for the New England game.
``We're having problems at the linebacker position right now,'' Brooks said. ``That's the position where we need help the most. That's a position where we're struggling, and we need people to step up and contribute.''
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