Appears that Tanner Hawkinson will be ready by regular season opener

USA TODAY Sports

The rookie offensive lineman suffered an ankle injury against the Atlanta Falcons and could return as soon as this week.

With 7:57 remaining against the Atlanta Falcons from Cincinnati's 13-yard line, Rex Burkhead takes the handoff and fights hard for a minimal three-yard gain off the right side. Tanner Hawkinson, playing left guard and without a defensive lineman covering him, reached for the second level to attack one of the free-flowing linebackers.

In the mean time, wide receiver Taveon Rogers, wide left, went out and looked for a defensive back to block. He found someone and that someone exploded through Rogers, who took a free-flight trip backwards right into the back of Hawkinson's legs after the play was over. The rookie offensive lineman laid on the turf for several moments until a cart retrieved him and sent him off to the lockerroom.

Hawkinson suffered an ankle injury and was forced to miss the game against the Tennessee Titans, as well as the succeeding practices.

According to Bengals.com, it appears that the offensive lineman will be ready when the Bengals head to Chicago for the preseason opener next month. Geoff Hobson actually notes that Hawkinson could return as soon as this week when the team heads to Dallas for their third preseason game of the season.

Hawkinson is a safe bet to make the 53-man roster as a versatile player thats capable of backing up the offensive tackles and even the guards.

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