Scott Rovak-US PRESSWIRE
Starting center Kyle Cook is eligible to return to practice this week against the Pittsburgh Steelers. However he's still sporting a boot and using one crutch.
After suffering a high-ankle sprain earlier this year, which required surgery and significant rehabilitation, Kyle Cook was placed on Injured Reserve with a designation to return later during the year. The opening edges of that "later" has arrived, now that he's eligible to return to practice his week. If he were ready.
And as Geoff Hobson notes, he's not ready yet.
As a member of the injured reserve-recall list, Cook is eligible to play for the first time on Nov. 4 against the Broncos, but he won't do that either. Once he's cleared to practice, the Bengals have three weeks to get him to the active roster and it looks like he's got a ways to go.
Cook is currently getting around wearing a boot and a single crutch.
"Soon it will be just the boot and then soon after that it will just be a tennis shoe," said Cook, who politely directed questions about a timetable for his return to head coach Marvin Lewis.
Cincinnati signed Jeff Faine in the meantime, who according to Pro Football Focus, is the worst run-blocking center in the NFL with a score of -10.9 (1.6 points worse than the second-worst center). Compare that to Kyle Cook, who has scored a positive PFF run blocking score since 2009 -- including an 8.1 in 2010, tenth-highest among centers.