The Cincinnati Bengals are coming off of back-to-back playoff berths for the first time in 30 years due in large part to having one of the best offensive lines in the NFL, and after right tackle Andre Smith was re-signed this offseason, it appeared as though they would return all five starters back once again.
But things didn’t get off to a great start during the team’s offseason training program, as left tackle Andrew Whitworth was knocked out of commission after offseason surgery on his knee to remove scar tissue. If you recall, 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 8-year NFL career, and earned his first Pro Bowl berth as an alternate.
Whitworth is expected to be ready for the first day of camp this week, and the surgery could actually be viewed as a blessing. It gave the 31-year old veteran an offseason to rest as he approaches his eighth NFL Season after a 5-year career in the SEC at LSU. That basically equates to 12 straight seasons of major football Whitworth has been part of, so a little extra rest could be of great benefit.