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FOX Sports Anwar S. Richardson, Tampa Tribune (Florida)
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Talib won't face further punishment

TAMPA - Buccaneers CB Aqib Talib will not be disciplined by the NFL for allegedly attending the season opener against Cleveland.

Talib was serving a one-game suspension during Tampa Bay's home opener after being arrested in August 2009 for punching a cab driver.

Talib was suspended for one game and docked two game checks for violating the league's personal conduct policy. Terms of the suspension prohibited him from participating in team activities or attending the game against the Browns.

However, the NFL investigated the alleged infraction and concluded no further discipline was necessary.

"The matter has been resolved. We have no further comment," league spokesman Randall Liu said in an e-mail to The Tampa Tribune.

Bengals high on Caldwell

The Bucs will focus their attention on stopping Cincinnati WRs Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco, but many from this area are interested in another Bengals wideout.

Cincinnati's Andre "Bubba" Caldwell will have the support of many Bay area fans when he plays against Tampa Bay on Sunday.

Caldwell played receiver and quarterback at Jefferson High before becoming a wideout at Florida. He was drafted in the third round by Cincinnati in 2008 and is the younger brother of former Jefferson standout Reche Caldwell, who played receiver at Florida and spent seven seasons in the NFL.

Andre Caldwell had been a fourth receiver for Cincinnati this season, but with Jordan Shipley recovering from a concussion, he is expected to see more playing time Sunday.

"Andre has been a great prospect for us," Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said. "I thought he really took steps this last offseason. We drafted Jordan Shipley and Jordan is really comfortable in some of the things we are asking him to do.

"Jordan is a little bit in front of Bubba in some ways, but Andre continues to carve out niches and do more and more. I'm really excited about him and his future. He's been a good returner for us, he's filled in and done good things in special teams, and he's just hungry for more opportunities."

Caldwell, 25, has not enjoyed many opportunities this season, hauling in four receptions for 23 yards, but Ochocinco is confident his teammate can capitalize on Sunday.

"Dre looks good man. Dre has always looked good," Ochocinco said. "He's probably our fastest player here. I'm excited to see what he can do once he gets the ball in his hands because he's that type of player that every time he touches the ball, you're going to have to hold your breath because you never know what is going to happen."

Palmer: Sunday is a must win

Two big clich?s among football players are, "It's a long season," and, "We're taking it game by game," but Cincinnati QB Carson Palmer is taking a more honest approach.

Cincinnati is 2-2 and hosts Tampa Bay before its bye next week. After losing to Cleveland 23-20 last week, Palmer is placing high importance on Sunday's game.

"This is a must win, absolutely," Palmer said during his weekly news conference. "The fact that we are going to get a week's rest, and just going into the bye week off a win is a huge deal. We're playing right now and acting like our backs are against the wall, because they are.

"It is early in the season, but we have a chance to play an out-of-division team at home, an out-of-conference team, you only get so many of those shots a year. You want to fare well against those teams. More importantly, with where we are in the season, this is an important game for us."

Cincinnati's other dynamic duo

Owens and Ochocinco are known as Cincinnati's dynamic duo, but two other Bengals are the original caped crusaders.

CBs Leon Hall and Johnathan Joseph are regarded as one of the NFL's top defensive back tandems. Hall has three interceptions this season (17 in his career), while Joseph was a Pro Bowl alternate last season and has 11 interceptions in his five-year career.

"Both of those guys, they really don't get enough credit," Bucs QB Josh Freeman said. "In the line of work they are in, Cincinnati leaves them on an island all the time. Those guys step up to the challenge week after week and they've done a tremendous job.

"We understand there are going to be some contested passes and some throws where we are going to need ( Bucs WR) Mike Williams to make a play, we're going to need me to throw a perfect ball. We understand that and invited the opportunity. We invite the challenge."

Injury report

Bucs LB Niko Koutouvides (ankle), DE Kyle Moore (shoulder), WR Maurice Stovall (back) and TE Kellen Winslow (knee) fully participated in Friday's practice, while LB Adam Hayward (illness) was absent. All are listed as probable.

Anwar S. Richardson

Photo Credit: Staff photo by CLIFF McBRIDE

Photo: Aqib Talib allegedly attended the Bucs' season opener while he was serving a one-game suspension.

Copyright ? 2010, The Tampa Tribune and may not be republished without permission. E-mail library@tampatrib.com

Tagged: Bengals, Buccaneers, Chad Johnson, Carson Palmer, Leon Hall, Aqib Talib, Andre Caldwell, Jordan Shipley

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