Chad Johnson has offered another challenge to the Browns. This Sunday, he wants to jump into the Dawg Pound. It'll be up to Leigh Bodden to make sure that doesn't happen. If you remember correctly, Johnson stated that he was going to do the same exact thing last year to the Browns if he scored a touchdown. The Bengals hammered the Browns 30-0, but Johnson did not catch a touchdown. Even if he had, there wouldn't have been enough fans left in the stadium to make it meaningful. That's why, if Johnson does score, the hope is that the game would not be out of reach, just to see what type of mugging he receives.
Johnson has publicly stated many times that Bodden is one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL today. Bodden has issued his own statement to Johnson - if he takes an interception back for a touchdown, he'll have a little something special of his own planned. In the end though, the ultimate goal isn't about not wanting to see Johnson celebrate - it's about doing your job right. If Bodden continues his fundamentally sound performances, that won't be a problem.
What may be a problem is Bengals receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh, who will probably be covered by Eric Wright on the sidelines and Brodney Pool over the middle. That's the area of the field that Ben Roethlisberger heavily targeted last week. With that type of vulnerability, Bodden has already stated that not having Brian Russell's veteranship has affected the unit.
In other news involving the secondary, Steelers receiver Hines Ward was fined $5,000 for his late cheap shot on cornerback Daven Holly last week. Although I'm glad that the NFL did something to acknowledge that what Ward did was wrong, the fine is merely pocket change to Ward in all likelihood. Ward apologized for the incident, but Holly didn't buy it, and rightfully so.
"I really don't buy that, man, [Ward apologizing]" Holly said. "Because when you hit a man in his back when he's not looking - I mean, he could intentionally hurt me. The shot came to my lower ear, when my head was turned."
Holly is listed as probably on the injury report due to the cheap shot, but he practiced without restriction on Friday and should be ready to go against the Bengals. Other players listed on the injury report are Antwaan Peek, Leigh Bodden, and Dave Zastudil. Among the three, Zastudil would probably be the least likely to play, but that's not to say that he's ruled out or anything. I should have more of an update regarding their statuses tomorrow when I preview the Bengals vs. the Browns.