If Andrew Whitworth is unable to go against the Chicago Bears on Sept. 8, which he may or may not depending on the continued effort to rehabilitate and strengthen his knee, the call will go to Anthony Collins.
And if that happens, it's just another day at the office for him as a soldier's soldier.
"I have a job to do," said Collins via Fox Sports Ohio. "Everybody has a job to do, and my job is: if they want to make me a backup, to be ready at all times at both positions. If they want to make me a starter, I am a starter, go out there and play like a starter. That’s my job. When my job changes, somebody will let me know but I still have the same mindset every day."
One of my first memories with Collins was in 2008, when he was just a rookie out of Kansas selected in the fourth round. The Bengals were getting ready to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers in week 12 that year, in front of a national Thursday Night football audience and injuries were burying the offensive line. Levi Jones was hurt. Andrew Whitworth was hurt (deja vu). So the Bengals tapped Collins, whose assignment was to protect Ryan Fitzpatrick's blindside from James Harrison.
You can understand the nature of freaking out when the Bengals, already horrifyingly putrid that year, ask Collins (and rookie Nate Livings) to start on the left side of the line due to injuries. Harrison generated 16.0 quarterback sacks that season, earning defensive player of the year honors, and failed to generate a sack in only five games.
Week 12 against the Bengals was one of those games. In fact, Harrison had a season-low two tackles that evening. Well done, kid.
Ever since then, Collins has been rock solid. As a starter or backup. At left tackle or right tackle. He's one of those players that you keep around as long as possible because you never know when you need that soldier to step in to do a job.