CINCINNATI -- Suddenly, the Cincinnati Bengals need help on offense.
Pro Bowl receiver Chad Johnson strained his left shoulder Sunday night during the Detroit Lions' 27-10 victory over the Bengals, who now have their top two receivers and their starting tailback limited by injuries.
Johnson landed awkwardly on his left side after cornerback Brian Kelly intercepted a pass thrown his way on Cincinnati's first series. He rolled on the field in pain for several seconds, then went to the locker room for an examination. He did not return.
Coach Marvin Lewis said the shoulder popped out and back into place on the field. Medical tests found no fracture.
"I think he should be ready by the opener," Lewis said. "Some of these things come back right away, and they're ready to go. A lot of players play with these things."
The Bengals already were missing Pro Bowl receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh and running back Rudi Johnson. Both of them have missed the first two preseason games with hamstring injuries.
Detroit got the better of it in the first quarter, when both teams played their starters.
Jon Kitna had a perfect passer rating of 158.3 for the second straight game. Playing in the stadium where he started the Bengals' resurgence in 2003, Kitna was much better than Carson Palmer, the No. 1 draft pick who took his place in Cincinnati.
Right away, Kitna tested a redesigned Bengals defense that has the cornerbacks aggressively covering receivers. He threw a 40-yard pass to Calvin Johnson on the opening play, letting the receiver beat cornerback Leon Hall on a sideline route.
That drive came up short in part because of an offensive pass interference penalty on Roy Williams. The next time the Lions got the ball, Kitna threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Johnson, who ran past cornerback Johnathan Joseph for an easy score. Joseph grabbed him as he went by but couldn't slow him down.
"It was just a man (to man) coverage, and Jon put it in a perfect spot," Johnson said. "There was a little contact. Jon's putting it in the right places and we're running our routes in the right places."
Kitna completed his three passes -- all to Johnson -- for 76 yards and a touchdown, leaving him 9-of-10 for 146 yards with a pair of touchdowns in the preseason.
"We basically kept it simple," Kitna said. "If we keep getting protection like that, we can do whatever we want. We've passed the ball well the last two years and knew we were going to be able to throw the football. But we've got to keep working on the running game to help our defense."
The Lions ran for 112 yards, averaging 3.6 per carry.
In an ominous sign for the Bengals, Palmer was repeatedly hit as he threw and got sacked once. He was only 6-of-13 for 50 yards with the one costly interception. He led Chad Johnson a bit too much, giving Kelly a chance to knock the ball free and grab it in the air.
Palmer was knocked to the ground five times overall.
"Our quarterback was touched a little bit more than we're used to," Lewis said. "We were a little bit out of sync in the passing game early."
Palmer played until the middle of the second quarter, trying to get the offense moving. In his two preseason games, Palmer is 11-of-22 for 83 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
Both teams failed on field goal attempts. Cincinnati's Shayne Graham had a 46-yard try blocked by Dewayne White, but later made one from 50 yards away. Detroit's Dave Rayner was wide left on a 47-yard attempt, then later connected from 48 and 23 yards. Rayner replaced Jason Hanson, who strained his thigh in the preseason opener.
Bengals defensive tackle Pat Sims, a third-round pick, was taken off the field on a cart after spraining a toe on his right foot in the fourth quarter.
|Chad Johnson grimaces in pain after landing awkwardly on his left shoulder during the first quarter. (AP)|
|Detroit (2-0-0) «||7||0||3||17||27|
DET - Pass: D. Orlovsky (11-22, 137), Rec: J. Standeford (4-85)|
CIN - Pass: R. Fitzpatrick (11-14, 111), Rec: J. Simpson (5-114)
|TD||Calvin Johnson, 27 Yd pass from Jon Kitna (Dave Rayner kick is good), 8:22. Drive: 2 plays, 36 yards in 0:48.|
|TD||Glenn Holt, 12 Yd pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick (Shayne Graham kick is good), 1:28. Drive: 13 plays, 99 yards in 5:30.|
|FG||Dave Rayner 48 Yd, 9:18. Drive: 9 plays, 26 yards in 4:39.|
|FG||Shayne Graham 50 Yd, 1:08. Drive: 4 plays, 1 yards in 0:55.|
|FG||Dave Rayner 23 Yd, 10:55. Drive: 10 plays, 70 yards in 5:13.|
|TD||Brandon Middleton, 50 Yd pass from Drew Stanton (Dave Rayner kick is good), 6:10. Drive: 6 plays, 72 yards in 3:47.|
|TD||Drew Stanton, 10 Yd run (Dave Rayner kick is good), 1:53. Drive: 5 plays, 34 yards in 2:17.|
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