With Carson Palmer still nursing a left-knee injury, Jon Kitna will make his third consecutive start at quarterback for the Bengals on Sunday at Philadelphia. Palmer has been lobbying...

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CINCINNATI — With Carson Palmer still nursing a left-knee injury, Jon Kitna will make his third consecutive start at quarterback for the Bengals on Sunday at Philadelphia.

Palmer has been lobbying to return since he left the Dec. 12 game at New England with a sprained left-knee ligament, suffered when he was tackled.

Coach Marvin Lewis said after practice yesterday that Palmer will be listed as the No. 2 quarterback in the season finale and could play if necessary.

Kitna, a Tacoma native and former Seahawk, is 1-1 as the starter since relieving Palmer. Kitna played in a losing effort against Buffalo before throwing the winning touchdown pass against the New York Giants.

Kitna played every down as Cincinnati’s starter in 2003, even though Palmer was the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft. Lewis promoted Palmer to the starting job during the offseason.

Private funeral held for White

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Reggie White was remembered as a man of goodness and humor yesterday at a private funeral attended by many current and former NFL players.

Mr. White died Sunday at 43.

Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre, a longtime teammate, was a pallbearer and led a contingent of about 50 members of the Packers organization at the University Park Baptist Church.

Former Seahawks safety Eugene Robinson, a teammate of Mr. White with the Packers (1996-97) and Carolina Panthers (2000), said the service was a mix of sadness and humor.

Mr. White played for the Packers from 1993 to 1998 and helped Green Bay to a Super Bowl title in a victory over New England to end the 1996 season. Green Bay lost to Denver in the championship game the following season.

A-Train ready to chug off into sunset

LAKE FOREST, Ill. — After his next-to-last practice with the Chicago Bears, Anthony Thomas trudged slowly off the field, realizing his days with the team that drafted him are almost over.

Displaced this season by Thomas Jones, Thomas said he won’t be back with the Bears, even though he will leave as the No. 5 rusher in team history with more than 3,000 yards.

“I’m sad in a way. I’ve been here since the beginning,” said Thomas, the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2001. “Now it’s time for me to move on and start a new legacy.”


• Green Bay receiver Robert Ferguson said he hopes to see action in the playoffs. Ferguson continues his recuperation from a clothesline hit Dec. 19 that temporarily paralyzed his legs and earned Jacksonville’s Donovin Darius a $75,000 fine. Ferguson said he’s still suffering from headaches and lingering weakness on one side of his body.

• Carolina wide receiver Keary Colbert practiced and is likely to be ready for Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints. Defensive end Mike Rucker, who missed his second straight day of practice, remains questionable with a foot injury.

• Minnesota Vikings quarterback Daunte Culpepper, tight end Jermaine Wiggins and cornerback Antoine Winfield returned to practice after suffering from a flu-like, upper-respiratory virus.

• The Detroit Lions re-signed punter Nick Harris and linebacker Donte Curry to three-year contracts. Harris, who signed with Detroit last year, has averaged 40.8 yards per punt this season, and 30 of his 87 punts have been downed inside the 20. Curry, a reserve, has made a team-high 23 tackles on special teams.

• St. Louis safety Aeneas Williams, bothered by a neck injury much of the season, was placed on injured reserve.