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Backup QB Fitzpatrick unavailable for next Bengals game due to National Honor Society meeting

CINCINNATI - Bengals backup Quarterback and Harvard graduate Ryan Fitzpatrick informed the Bengals coaching staff this week he double-booked Sunday's game with a National Honor Society meeting.  Fitzpatrick explained he will not be able to play in Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers because the National Honor Society meetings are mandatory.  He apologized for the scheduling error.   

Fitzpatrick commented, "I regret that I can't play but if Carson can play this week I am sure we will lose by less.  That's a step in the right direction."   

Carson Palmer, who stayed behind the team in New York last weekend to get a second medical opinion about his ailing elbow. was reached for comment in New York City where he is currently site seeing, "I am enjoying the sites in New York and I was hoping to spend a few more weeks here.  It's so beautiful here in the fall.  I don't see the point in returning quickly just so we can lose by less.  Ryan needs at least three more games under his belt to really get the hang of it."   

Under conditions of anonymity several Bengals team members stated they believe Fitzpatrick may be using the National Honor Society meeting as an excuse to avoid playing another difficult game with the NFL's second to worst ranked offense.  Team members believe Fitzpatrick may feel somewhat rattled after being sacked more than once per quarter.