Palmer Returns In Bengals NFL Preseason Loss To Saints

By Ross Everett

Despite losing to the New Orleans Saints in their NFL preseason opener 17-7, the Cincinnati Bengals had a lot to be happy about. Most significantly, they were elated over the return of QB Carson Palmer after he’d missed most of the last NFL season with an elbow injury. Palmer’s play–133 yards on 7 of 11 passing–gave them even more to be happy about despite being on the wrong end of the final score. Of course Cincinnati has had very low standards for success lately, and it was more of a ‘silver lining in a dark cloud’ situation than anything else.

New Orleans had their share of offensive highlights, with QB Drew Brees hooking up with tight end Jeremy Shockey for three completions including Shockey’s first touchdown reception in a Saints uniform. Brees backup, Mark Brunell, also played well and tossed a 64 yard scoring strike to Robert Meacham.

Saints fans were well aware that their QB would produce after hanging over 5,000 yards on the board last year, but Palmers return brought a sigh of relief from Bengal backers. Palmer missed 12 games last season because of a partially torn ligament and tendon in his passing elbow. His passing highlight was a 55 yard play to Chad Ochocinco.

After Shockeys TD catch boosted the Saints to a 7-0 lead, the Bengals tied the game when Palmers backup J.T. O’Sullivan hit Chris Henry on a 14 yard touchdown pass. OSullivan also produced solid numbers, completing 9 of 11 passes for 100 yards.

The Bengals will continue their NFL preseason this Thursday as they travel to Foxboro, Massachusetts for a game against the New England Patriots. The Saints will also play away from home, heading over to Houston for a game against the Texans on Saturday. Both teams will kick off the NFL regular season on Sunday, September 13th with the Bengals hosting the Denver Broncos and the Saints welcoming the Detroit Lions to New Orleans.

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