Benson replaces struggling Perry as Bengals' starter

Updated: October 19, 2008, 1:25 PM ET
Associated Press

CINCINNATI -- Running back Cedric Benson replaced struggling Chris Perry in the Cincinnati Bengals' starting lineup Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Benson was signed as a free agent two weeks ago and has been trying to learn an offense that is substantially different from the one he had in Chicago. With Perry averaging only 2.6 yards per carry and fumbling five times, coach Marvin Lewis made his first notable change in the starting lineup.

The Bengals came in 0-6 with the second-worst running game in the NFL.

Kicker Shayne Graham was inactive with a strained groin, leaving Dave Rayner to kick for the second straight game. Tight end Ben Utecht also was sidelined by a bruised chest.

Steelers running back Willie Parker was out for the third straight game because of a sprained left knee. The Steelers had hoped to get Parker back coming off their bye week, but he aggravated the injury while working out during the week.

Pro Bowl nose tackle Casey Hampton was sidelined for the third consecutive game by a strained groin.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press