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Palmer Is Back Strong; Green Knocked Out

September 11, 2006|From the Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Now it's Carson Palmer's turn to return the kindness and reach out to Trent Green.

When Palmer went down in January because of a knee injury, Green was one of the first to call the Cincinnati quarterback. Although the two barely knew each other, Green offered words of encouragement, advice drawn upon his own experience with career-threatening knee problems.

Now, on the day Palmer made a triumphant comeback by leading the Bengals to a 23-10 victory over Kansas City, Green was the one rushed to a hospital.

A brutal hit by Cincinnati's Robert Geathers, which the Chiefs expect to be reviewed by the league office, left the Kansas City quarterback unconscious on the turf. The game was delayed 11 minutes while he was carted away on a stretcher.

The Chiefs reported later that the injury was not as bad as it seemed. Green had "pretty severe head trauma," said Chiefs General Manager Carl Peterson, but X-rays were negative.

No doubt, Palmer was just about as happy at that news as the nearly 80,000 fans who sat hushed as attendants carted their popular quarterback away.

"It's tough in this kind of small fraternity of quarterbacks in this league, when you see a quarterback go down like that," Palmer said.

Palmer, exactly eight months after surgeons repaired his mangled left knee, was not sharp at the beginning. But then the Bengals went to their no-huddle offense and he completed nine passes in a row in a stretch that seemed to announce he's ready to return to the league's elite.

Once Palmer found his touch, Rudi Johnson and Kenny Watson scored touchdowns in a 17-point second-quarter. Palmer, who was injured in the opening minutes of Cincinnati's playoff loss to Pittsburgh in January, was 13 for 19 for 127 yards.

Cincinnati had seven sacks of Green and backup Damon Huard.

"We had some things early on, a couple of things on offense that kind of slowed us up a little bit," Cincinnati Coach Marvin Lewis said. "But once we got those corrected, we played good football."

Herman Edwards, who had an unhappy debut as the Chiefs' coach, said of the Bengals: "You can't give them a lead. You can't turn the ball over and give them field position."

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