Carson Palmer was still on crutches yesterday and resigned to missing the Cincinnati Bengals' next game because of a sprained left knee. Former Seahawks quarterback Jon Kitna ran...

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CINCINNATI — Carson Palmer was still on crutches yesterday and resigned to missing the Cincinnati Bengals’ next game because of a sprained left knee.

Former Seahawks quarterback Jon Kitna ran the offense in practice, getting ready to make his first start of the season against the Buffalo Bills. Kitna was the league’s Comeback Player of the Year last season, but hadn’t taken a snap until Palmer got hurt Sunday.

“I know he’s excited,” Palmer said. “I’m happy for him. He’s getting a chance. I and the rest of the team are completely confident in him, that he’s going to go out and not lose a step from where this offense has left off.”

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The offense is performing at an all-time high for the franchise, putting together three consecutive 450-yard games for the first time. Palmer twisted his knee when he was tackled in the third quarter of a 35-28 loss in New England, forcing Kitna to finish.

Although coach Marvin Lewis was mum about his quarterback plans, Palmer said he’d be shocked if he played this weekend. He will stay on crutches until Saturday, protecting a sprained ligament on the outside of the knee.

“It is looking bleak for this weekend, but right now I’m set on playing next week against the Giants,” Palmer said. “The only thing that’s going to pull me off of that is if they won’t let me play.”

Trainers told Palmer that he would be taking a big risk by playing against the Bills on a weakened knee.

“It’s not strong enough to protect it from completely ripping and tearing and having to go through reconstructive knee surgery and missing the whole offseason,” Palmer said.

Kitna should have no problem taking over. He’s more familiar with the offense than Palmer, who sat on the sideline as a rookie and watched Kitna lead the Bengals to an 8-8 mark.

“This thing has been running pretty good without me in there, so I don’t want to go in and disrupt a whole bunch of things and try to put my personality on it,” Kitna said. “This is Carson’s football team. I just want to try to continue and be an extension of him and do the things that I’m strong at doing.”


• Miami Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga and president Eddie Jones met with LSU coach Nick Saban in Baton Rouge, La., on Tuesday night in what both sides called “a preliminary conversation” about the team’s search for a coach. Saban was not offered the job, and it wasn’t immediately clear if any more meetings between the sides were scheduled.

• Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan told ESPN he will exercise the $6 million option bonus that quarterback Jake Plummer is due in March, which means Plummer will be the Broncos’ quarterback next season and likely beyond.

• San Francisco 49ers quarterback Ken Dorsey will start his second consecutive game Saturday against the Washington Redskins, and he could finish the season in place of Tim Rattay. Rattay is out with a foot injury and might not play again this year.

• St. Louis Rams free safety Aeneas Williams probably will be sidelined for the remainder of the season with a neck injury.

• Washington Redskins kicker John Hall is done for the season with a torn right quad muscle, his fourth leg injury in three months. The Redskins signed Jeff Chandler to kick for the rest of the season.

Joey Harrington still is Detroit’s starting quarterback, coach Steve Mariucci said. Mariucci on Monday refused to say who would start the Lions’ next game. Detroit put Boss Bailey on injured reserve, two days after the linebacker said he didn’t think he would be healthy enough to play on his weakened knee this season.

Brian Urlacher missed practice and his latest hamstring injury is expected to keep the Chicago Bears’ star linebacker out of Sunday’s game with Houston.

Sebastian Janikowski finalized a $10.5 million, five-year contract extension with the Oakland Raiders that makes him the highest-paid kicker in the NFL. Janikowski will receive $2.8 million in guaranteed money, his agent said.