When the Bengals were on their way to securing an easy victory over the Philadelphia Eagles last December (it didn't start that way), fullback Chris Pressley suffered a season-ending knee injury. He opened training camp this year on the team's Physically Unable to Perform list, where he's called home for the several months now. Cincinnati announced on Nov. 19 that Pressley has gained practice eligibility, giving the Bengals 21 days before they're required to make a decision -- remain on PUP for the rest of the season, waived (injury settlement) or activated to the 53-man roster.
Pressley returned to the practice field on Monday and fully expects to knock as much heads that will be allowed under practice when the team resumes normal practices on Wednesday. He misses the game, but he's especially grateful for the team standing behind him, despite the fact Cincinnati has clearly shied away from using a natural fullback when they released John Conner during the preseason.
"They could be done with me," said Pressley via the Cincinnati Enquirer. "At least they had the patience to see what you can do, get better, we are going to be with you through it. That says a lot about the Brown (family), I could have been gone a long time ago."
"If they say ‘Chris go,’ I am strapping up and going, I don’t care," Pressley said. "Especially how much I miss this thing. I wanted to go two months ago, but you have to be smart. "
Had Pressley returned two months ago, it's possible he's not with the team anymore considering the offensive philosophy used a hybrid tight end -- something that just hasn't worked as intended. Orson Charles has been completely relegated to special teams while Tyler Eifert has lined up at full back more than expected. Domata Peko remains the short-yardage fullback.
Currently Cincinnati's rushing offense ranked 20th in the NFL, averaging 107.9 yards rushing per game.