May 10, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals fifth round draft pick guard Tanner Hawkinson works out during the Bengals rookie minicamp at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

With Andrew Whitworth & Andre Smith out, Bengals Rookies Stepping Up



The 2013 NFL season is 3 months away, but the OTA phase of the offseason is already over for Andrew Whitworth, who won’t be doing any football-related activities anytime soon after offseason surgery on his knee to remove scar tissue. The procedure is minor, and won’t put his streak of 67 straight starts in jeopardy. Andre Smith is also reportedly out for an undisclosed reason, and with their absences, the Bengals will be working in several rookies and getting them better acclimated into the NFL:

With left tackle Andrew Whitworth recovering from knee surgery until training camp, fifth-rounder Tanner Hawkinson figures to get time at left tackle and left guard. Seventh-rounder Reid Fragel also figures to play left as well as right tackle as the rookies take on veteran Anthony Collins in the Whitworth-Smith backup derby.


Whitworth got off to a slow start in 2012, and it was thought he was suffering from some kind of injury, but he fought through the pain to have one of the best seasons of his 7-year NFL career, and earned his first Pro Bowl berth as an alternate.

With Smith however, one has to assume this has to do with his conditioning, as there have been a lot of speculation this offseason that Smith is currently overweight, which is what really hurt the market for his servcies when he was a free agent.



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