Bengals' Iron hobbles off field with injured knee, ankle

Updated: August 9, 2007, 11:06 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Cincinnati Bengals: Bengals rookie running back Kenny Irons injured his left knee and ankle Thursday night against the Detroit Lions and was taken to the locker room on a cart after hobbling off the field.

Irons had four carries for 17 yards, including an 11-yard gain, after replacing starter Rudi Johnson in the exhibition opener for both teams. The Lions rallied late for the 27-26 win.

The second-round pick from Auburn was hurt when his foot appeared to get caught up in the artificial turf while making a stutter-step move. Injuries limited Irons to 893 yards last season after he ran for a Southeastern Conference-high average of 108 yards per game in 2005.

Cincinnati is already without one of its reserve running backs, Chris Perry, who is still trying to come back after breaking his leg last season. Kenny Watson and Quincy Wilson shared the carries after Irons left the game.

Elsewhere in AFC camps:

Pittsburgh Steelers: Steelers running back Willie Parker is restless and unhappy at being sidelined for nearly two weeks because of a sore knee. His teammates are even more eager for the 1,400-yard rusher to resume practicing.

Coach Mike Tomlin said Parker is so enthused at being involved, he has become an unofficial player-coach by offering advice whenever he finds it necessary. Even if most of it is unsolicited advice.

"Willie is a blue-collar worker and all he wants to do is go to work," Tomlin said Thursday. "The running backs are starting to call him coach Parker because he's wearing them out. But that's what makes him what he is."

Parker, who expects to resume practicing Monday, agreed his mouth moves more quickly than his mind when he watches the other running backs and sees a mistake. He blames the influence of Jerome Bettis, the former Steelers star and team leader who was his unofficial mentor when Parker arrived in Pittsburgh in 2004.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.