Football

Ocho Cinco takes aim at Texans

Chad Ocho Cinco isn't afraid to talk smack to opposing defensive backs and the Texans are taking his verbal jabs in stride.

The former Chad Johnson asked members of the Houston media this week for the names of the Texans' cornerbacks who will cover him on Sunday. Jacques Reeves and DeMarcus Faggins will handle most of the responsibility.

"Tell Jacques Reeves, or Jacques Cousteau, or whatever his name is, and, what's the other guy's name? Finnegan?" Ocho Cinco said. "Tell them I said hello and, you know, it's on."

Reeves and Faggins laughed when they heard about Ocho Cinco's comments.

"It's entertainment to me," said Faggins. "I like to see it, I like to read about it."

Reeves, who has one of Houston's three interceptions this season, remembers facing Ocho Cinco once before. He said the more Chad talks, the more it motivates him.

"It's fun," Reeves said. "He brings another aspect to the game. It makes you want to go out and play and makes the game that much more exciting."

Rookies will have to wait

The Bengals' two rookie receivers had their first big moments in the NFL last week. It could be awhile before they get any more.

Third-round draft pick Andre Caldwell had three kickoff returns — one of them for 36 yards — in a 38-10 loss to Pittsburgh. On the last one, he suffered a stress fracture in his left foot, leaving him out for at least a couple of weeks.

Second-round pick Jerome Simpson got his first catch, a 2-yard reception. As he was being tackled, a defender fell on his right ankle, forcing him to limp off with a sprain.

The two rookies have adjacent lockers. This week, they had matching protective boots as well.

"Sheesh," Simpson said. "We haven't gotten in that much, we were about to start getting more time, and stupid injuries like this come."

It's been that kind of season for the receivers. When Cincinnati drafted them, Chad Ocho Cinco was threatening to hold out and Chris Henry had been released. Ocho Cinco returned, and owner Mike Brown brought back Henry over the objections of Coach Marvin Lewis.

The crowd at the position made the receivers' learning curve a little steeper.

"Everybody thinks it's easy to just throw those receivers out there, but when you throw a guy out there that's not quite sure what to do, you can get the quarterback hit," Lewis said.

Around the league

Rams :The NFL denied St. Louis' attempt to rework a contract with Coach Jim Haslett that would ensure him a job beyond this season if he won six games because of a requirement that minority candidates be interviewed for head coaching vacancies.

Team president John Shaw said Saturday in a telephone interview with The AP that the league office cited the Rooney Rule.

Haslett's agent Peter Schaffer said his client has no problem going through the interview process.

Browns: The team agreed to rescind Kellen Winslow's one-game suspension, but he will still miss Sunday's game against Jacksonville.

The team said in a statement Saturday night that Winslow will return on Monday.

Winslow was suspended last week after he made critical comments about the Browns' handling of his hospitalization with a staph infection. He later appealed the suspension.

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