The playbook is already written. For the second time in 3 seasons, Leon Hall is attempting to rehab a torn achilles to get back into playing shape in time for the next NFL season.
Hall and trainer Nick Cosgray have done this before. Geoff Hobson talks about the musical themes the pair use on rehab days to get through the process. Cosgray and Hall have the luxury of checking the files from the 2012 rehab to see that they are on pace for the same kind of return on the same time table.
"He's right where he was a couple of years ago; right on schedule," says Cosgray, "If you look back at the notes I have on him, he's exactly where he was two years ago."
This puts him on track for a training camp opening day return. The Bengals hope that he stays on that time table and has the same type of season after his last injury. The optimism is guarded though. Hall is a little older this time and the true test of his rehab won't show its ugly face until Hall is on the turf running drills in three months.
They say that no two injuries are the same, but they also say that a second major injury usually carries a smaller rehab time. Guys that have torn their ACL a second time comment that the second rehab is much faster than the first.
Nick Cosgray has his hands full for sure. Handling the Bengals top corner, as well as rehabbing the Bengals top defensive lineman in Geno Atkins puts a lot of pressure on the guy to get these men healthy. But, as Hobson points out, there is a lot of trust between the players and Cosgray. This is not necessarily how it was in the past with the Bengals organization.
The Bengals carried the top defense in the AFC last season without the services of the two of the top defenders on the roster. Getting both back while adding talent in the draft or free agency makes this squad an even better one in 2014. All that relies on getting healthy and as of now, the time tables look good.