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For Once, Luck is on the Side of the Cincinnati Bengals

April 26th, 2012 at 11:40 AM
By Chuck Chapman

No, not Andrew Luck. We're talking good fortune. You know, the stuff that has consistently been absent from the Cincinnati Bengals franchise throughout its existence. 

From Greg Cook's mangled shoulder to Tim Krumrie's broken leg to Kijana Carter's torn ACL, injuries have always somehow come about at inopportune times to derail the Bengals' success. Tonight, for once the Bengals will be the beneficiaries of an injury.

On October 16, the Cleveland Browns traveled to Oakland to take on the Raiders. The Raiders were off to a 3-2 start and coming off an emotional win at Houston the week before after owner Al Davis' death.

Quarterback Jason Campbell was a big part of the Raiders' resurgence and their playoff hopes. Even though it was early, then head coach Hue Jackson had a special feeling about a magical Raiders' run to win just one more for Al.

With the Raiders trailing 14-7 late in the first half, Campbell was hit by Browns linebacker, Scott Fujita. The result of the hit was a broken collar bone that would sideline the Raiders' signal caller the rest of the season.

The Raiders would go on to win the game with backup Kyle Boller, taking them to 4-2. But Jackson knew that Boller wasn't the player to take them to the playoffs. His only other option on the roster was rookie Terrelle Pryor, a supplemental draft pick that the team was moving to tight end.

That's when Hue Jackson called on his former player back when he was receivers coach in Cincinnati, Carson Palmer. Palmer was in the midst of a prolonged holdout with Cincinnati and had insisted that he would never play again for the franchise. Bengals' owner Mike Brown was equally intransigent, insisting that the Bengals weren't going to trade Palmer and would hold him to his contract

Jackson and the Raiders made Brown an offer he couldn't refuse. The result of that has the Bengals picking at number 17 tonight with the Raiders pick. Combined with their own pick at 21, Cincinnati has the opportunity to get two players who can immediately impact a team poised to make the leap to championship contenders.

Bengals fans could look back at tonight's draft and see how the players drafted this evening helped them win Cincinnati's first Super Bowl. Wouldn't it be ironic if that development was the confluence of an injury, the Cleveland Browns and a holdout quarterback?

Tags: Carson Palmer, Cincinnati, Cincinnati Bengals, Football, Hue Jackson, NFL

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