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Benson signs with the Bengals

October 01, 2008|From the Associated Press

Running back Cedric Benson signed Tuesday with the Cincinnati Bengals, who needed another runner and were undeterred by two alcohol-related arrests in Texas that prompted the Chicago Bears to let him go.

Benson will take the spot of running back DeDe Dorsey, who was put on injured reserve after hurting his hamstring in a 20-12 loss to Cleveland. Chris Perry is Cincinnati's starting running back.

Benson was Chicago's first-round pick in the 2005 draft out of Texas. He started 12 games for the Bears from 2005 to 2007, running for 1,593 yards and 10 touchdowns.

He missed five games because of an ankle injury last season but had a career-high 674 yards. Benson was arrested in May on suspicion of boating while intoxicated and resisting arrest, and again in June on suspicion of drunk driving in Austin, Texas.

Two grand juries declined to indict Benson last week, ending the cases.

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Ricky Williams says he was briefly tempted to smoke marijuana during the Miami Dolphins' open date weekend, an act that could have ended his roller-coaster NFL career.

Williams has been in the league's substance-abuse program since 2002 and has tested positive for marijuana.

Williams told the Miami Herald for Tuesday's editions that when players were given Friday off, "automatically your mind, which is so constrained since training camp began . . . says, 'I'm free, what can I do?' "

"So there was definitely an urge," he said. "But I just thought about what I have to lose, and it was easy. The urge didn't last very long."

Since 2004, the Dolphins running back has played only 16 NFL games, including three this year. If Williams were to smoke marijuana again, he would probably be out of the NFL for good because he has already violated the league drug policy four times.

"There's no space, no wiggle room for me," Williams said.

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St. Louis Rams quarterback Marc Bulger got his job back, the biggest development of new Coach Jim Haslett's first full day in charge of the winless team.

The highest-paid player in franchise history had run the scout team offense last week.

Bulger declined several opportunities to torch his former coach, Scott Linehan, who was fired Monday.

Backup Trent Green started Sunday's 31-14 loss to the Buffalo Bills in Linehan's final game as coach. Bulger was back with the starters in practice Tuesday, and Haslett said he will be the starter the rest of the season.

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Baltimore running back Willis McGahee has a rib injury and his status for the Ravens game against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday is unclear.

McGahee suffered the injury during Baltimore's overtime loss Monday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

He was the Ravens' leading rusher last season with 1,207 yards and seven touchdowns.

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