Bengals could still trade veteran RB Johnson

INDIANAPOLIS -- Bengals running back Rudi Johnson said Thursday that he still thinks he could be traded before the season-opener on Sept. 7.

Height: 5-10

Weight: 225

College: Auburn

Experience: 7

Earlier this week, Johnson acknowledged he could be dealt since the Bengals are reportedly in the market for another wide receiver. But wasn't told anything after sitting out Cincinnati's 27-7 victory at Indianapolis.

"It's out of my control, you know what I mean," he said. "All I know is the season starts Sept. 7."

Johnson was expected to play in the preseason finale. He didn't, and afterward said felt comfortable on the field -- presumably standing on the sidelines where he watched Chris Perry and Kenny Watson handle most of the carries in the first half.

Coach Marvin Lewis said Johnson, and receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh, were held out because they had only practiced for one week.

Johnson became the team's starting tailback in 2004, taking over for Corey Dillon. He ran for a club-record 1,458 yards in 2005 and for 1,309 the next year. Hamstring problems limited him to nine starts and a 2.9-yard average last season, when he lost weight to try to increase his speed.

He bulked up in the offseason, hoping to become more of a power back. Yet the continuing hamstring problems raise questions about his durability and, if Perry wrests the starting job from Johnson, he would be expendable.

What's next?

Johnson isn't sure.

"Stay tuned," he said. "Make sure you pay your cable bill."

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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