Jermaine Gresham had just caught a 19-yard touchdown pass that brought Cincinnati to within six points of the Indianapolis Colts with 2:40 left in the game. The Bengals line up to kick an onside kick. Mike Nugent kicks the football up the middle and trails the football as a collection of bodies try to recover the football. Even though Tom Nelson came away with the football, Nugent's season came to an end after tearing the ACL in his knee on his kicking leg.
Nugent would go on to have reconstructive knee surgery over six weeks ago, which obviously has some wondering if he'll a future in the NFL. Before the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Bengals head of rehabilitation Nick Cosgray is working with Nugent, who would head back to The Ohio State University to continue rehab work.
"Three hours a day," Nugent said of his rehab. "Obviously Nick knows what he's doing and I've talked to a lot of people since I've done this who have given me advice. Basically, you let the surgeon do his job and the rest is up to you. Your rehab is all up to you."
According to Geoff Hobson, Nugent will start kicking again next week, but not the football. "He says he'll start out kicking a soccer ball and then maybe move up to a small football." Butch continues:
So far, so good. Nugent and Cosgray open each session working on his range of motion. The most recent trips to the weight room have Nugent doing the leg press with four sets of 10 reps at 125 pounds. A series of drills with a rubber band that provides resistance is making sure the other parts of his body don't atrophy, such as his hips and the other leg.
Nugent has one year remaining on his contract.