Last season the Cincinnati Bengals won their division and looked like they might have a chance to go deep into the playoffs until quarterback Carson Palmer sustained a serious knee injury in the first post-season contest. News out of training camp early last week was that Palmer was ahead of schedule in his rehab. That’s great news. Unfortunately, there’s been a truckload of bad news for the Bengals. On Sunday, the team’s first day off since they started training camp on Monday, offensive lineman Eric Steinbach was arrested for DWI.
That’s the fifth Bengal to get in trouble with the law in the past three months! Chris Henry has been arrested 4 times in the past 8 months, draftees Frostee Rucker and A.J. Nicholson were arrested prior to negotiating their contracts, and Matthias Askew was arrested last month for resisting arrest. Add to that Odell Thurman’s upcoming four-game regular season suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy and you’ve got a distracted team and a concerned coach. With a growing club rap sheet, head coach Marvin Lewis has a lot with which to deal. It’s great that Palmer is ahead on his rehab, but if this team doesn’t get its act together off the field that may all be moot. Meanwhile, a very talented Cleveland Browns team may be looking a lot better to win second place in the AFC North and secure a possible Wild Card playoff spot.