The Cincinnati Bengals manged to win 11 games and claim the AFC North in 2013 without two of their best players for the majority of the year. Pro Bowl cornerback Leon Hall tore his Achilles Tendon at Detroit in Week 7, and All-Pro defensive tackle Geno Atkins tore his ACL in Miami two weeks later.
Having those two could have been the difference in ending the team’s 24-year long drought of no playoff wins, but alas, all the Bengals can do now is wait and do everything possible to assist them with their rehabilitation.
Despite the severity of those injuries, both players have stated they hope to be ready for the start of training camp in July, but that may not ultimately be the case, according to Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com:
The biggest questions for the Bengals are going to be if Atkins (ACL) and Hall (Achilles) can make it back in time for some semblance of a training camp, or if they’ll have to start the season on the physically unable to perform list (PUP) and miss the first six weeks of the season.
Since he tore his knee Halloween, Atkins’ timetable is going to be a tight fit. Hall, who ripped his Achilles’ Oct. 20, tore his other one on Nov. 13, 2011. That is when the Bengals projected he would start the 2012 season on the PUP list, but he defied the odds and was on the field for the opening of training camp on his way to starting 14 of 16 games, including the Sept. 10 opener. The Bengals are hoping lightning strikes twice.
That doesn’t sound as optimistic as the team could have hoped for, but it’s not the worst news either, as it’s still likely both will be suited up in stripes and on the field in 2014.