Bengals Linebacker Rey Maualuga Hopes To Play Against Dallas

GEORGETOWN KY - JULY 31: Rey Maualuga #58 of the Cincinnati Bengals is pictured during the Bengals training camp at Georgetown College on July 31 2010 in Georgetown Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Rey Maualuga reportedly "tweaked his hamstring" during the team's second Monday practice and missed practice during the afternoon session on Tuesday. The injury isn't believed to hurt Maualuga's playing time for the regular season and it's generally thought he'll return relatively soon.

When asked if he'll play on Sunday during the preseason's opening game, the hell-raising Samoan isn't even entertaining the notion that he'll miss the game.

"I'll hate myself if I don't play on Sunday. I want to play, I want to compete. I want to practice," he said.

Maualuga is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. If he's not signing autographs until the line literally ends (as he, Bobbie Williams, Leon Hall and Daniel Coats did), then he's joining crowds during college games, thus becoming generally one of the team's most fan-friendly players.

More awesomely (yea, I said it), the linebacker isn't one to give up easily. After fracturing his ankle against Kansas City during week 16 last year, the crazy bastard had no intention of sitting out during the team's wild card game against the New York Jets in January. He tweet at the time:

"Bengals nation, I may be hurt but this injury aint gonna stop me from doin wat I love!! Ima do everythn n my power to get back!"

Of course, he ended up not playing and his backup, Rashad Jeanty, suffered a broken leg early in that wild card game. Maualuga's spirit is what makes this team fun to root for.

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