Sophomore left Defensive End Carlos Dunlap is preparing to be back for the season opener. After attempting to avoid a sophomore slump like many Bengals in the past, Dunlap has tweaked his knee twice thus far in preseason practices.
So far during the preseason Dunlap has yet to make an appearance during a game. And right now all signs are pointing to the fact he will not be playing this weeks preseason game versus the Indianapolis Colts. Obviously in the grand scheme of things the Bengals’ ultimate goal isn’t to have Dunlap rush into a preseason game but rather play during the regular season.
When asked to comment on his health Dunlap said:
We’re taking it day by day and right now we’re on that track. Today was the first day of rehab and it felt pretty comfortable. I need to get it stronger so I can be back and playing like I was. I don’t want to be thinking about it. I don’t want to have a knee brace.
I think I did rush it back. It’s nothing too serious; it just takes time. I’ve been watching extra film, getting mental reps. Since I can’t be out there physically practicing, I’m getting more mental reps and watching the guys and helping coach the other guys on the things I would have done. Just contributing anyway I can right now.
From what I can pull from this and all my sources is that Dunlap does honestly believe he can be back for the season opener in Cleveland. He’s taking this ‘injury‘ very seriously and has full faith in the training staff to get him back to where he needs to be.
Let’s hope Dunlap get’s fully healed and ready to go as soon as possible. The Bengals are going to need his pass rush ability this season if they hope to win games this year.