Bengals backup QB Wright has appendectomy

Updated: October 13, 2006, 3:27 PM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

Cincinnati Bengals backup quarterback Anthony Wright underwent an appendectomy on Friday morning and will be unavailable Sunday at Tampa Bay.

Anthony Wright
Wright

In the absence of Wright, who is expected to be sidelined two to three weeks, sixth-year veteran Doug Johnson will move into the No. 2 spot on the depth chart, behind Carson Palmer. Signed this summer as an unrestricted free agent, Johnson has appeared in 23 games in his career, but none since 2004.

Wright, 30, is the second NFL quarterback to undergo an appendectomy this season. Pittsburgh starter Ben Roethlisberger had a similar operation four days before team's season opener. He missed that contest, but then returned to start the second game of the season.

Palmer has taken every snap for the Bengals this season. Wright, an eight-year veteran signed this spring to provide insurance against the possibility that Palmer might not be ready for the beginning of the season, started two preseason games this summer while Palmer was rehabilitating from knee surgery.

It is uncertain who will serve as the No. 3 quarterback against the Bucs, or if Lewis will even declare one. Asked about the No. 3 quarterback after practice Friday, Lewis joked that he might fill the role himself. "I finally get my chance," Lewis said.

Rookie wide receiver Reggie McNeal, a sixth-round draft pick who was recently elevated from the practice squad, was a college quarterback at Texas A&M. McNeal threw 44 touchdown passes in his college career, but has not worked much at quarterback in practice, and has yet to be active for a game.

Johnson, 28, is a journeyman with prior stints in Atlanta (2000-2003), Tennessee (2004) and Cleveland (2005). He has completed 218 of 384 passes for 2,600 yards, with 13 touchdown passes, 18 interceptions and a career passer rating of 69.4.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.