Hobson also reports there’s a bit of unease regarding the status of offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth. The Pro Bowl left tackle is still recovering from offseason knee surgery, and after he didn’t play this weekend vs. the Dallas Cowboys when most expected him to, the concern that he could miss the opener is now creeping in:
He thought he was going to be ready for training camp and he did work the first three days. Then the club backed him off for 10 days and eyed his debut against the Cowboys when he came back to practice about 10 days ago. After stringing together a few days, he’s been in and out and he didn’t make the trip to Dallas. Whitworth has been insisting his experience allows him to be able to play in the opener with little work.
I actually think it was a good idea for Whit to not play this weekend. He’s the blindside protector for Andy Dalton, and having to come into a game after missing the entire offseason and block the likes of DeMarcus Ware spelled disaster for Dalton, especially after a preseason where he’s taken a repeated amount of big-hits, and the last thing Cincinnati wants to see id Dalton laying seriously injured on the ground with a defeated Whitworth standing over him.
That could have been a season-defining image that the image Bengals imply didn’t want burned into their eyes, and ultimately made the decision to sit him.
Whitworth is confident in his ability to come back from the injury and continue to make a positive impact:
“It’s not a great scenario, but it’s the scenario we’re in,” Whitworth said. “I’ve played a lot of football and the truth is the game I play is more about studying people, knowing the ins and outs and playing technically sound. Every single week I’m a guy that prepares totally different for a team. That’s really the issue.
“I’m not some rookie who sprained his ankle and I’m back the next game. I’m an older player that’s got an injury. I’m going to get it ready the best I can and every one that knows me knows I’m going to do everything possible to be back as fast as possible.”
Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis also said in his Monday news conference that he has confidence Whitworth can be ready for the opener vs. the Chicago Bears.