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Preview: Bengals Start Preseason vs Saints

Carson Palmer makes his return to the field on Friday night, when the quarterback and his Cincinnati Bengals travel to the Superdome to meet the New Orleans Saints in the preseason opener for both teams.

Palmer missed 12 of the Bengals’ final 13 games during the team’s miserable 4-11-1 campaign of 2008, with his injured throwing elbow keeping him out of action since last Oct. 5th.

Without the former Heisman Trophy winner and No. 1 overall pick in the lineup, the Bengals finished 30th in the league in passing and dead last in NFL scoring.

Because he opted not to have surgery to repair the elbow, all eyes will be on Palmer during what is likely to be a brief first-quarter cameo in New Orleans. Following him in the lineup will be journeyman and ex-49ers starter J.T. O’Sullivan, followed by the starter’s brother, Jordan Palmer.

Other Bengals to watch will include linebacker Rey Maualuga, a second-round pick in the April draft who is attempting to beat out incumbent Dhani Jones for middle linebacker duties. Maualuga has been battling a leg injury but has a chance to be in uniform.

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