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Jason Cole: Antonio Bryant's Career Could Be In Jeopardy Because Of Injured Knee

It would make sense that the Bengals are leaving the door open for an eventual Antonio Bryant return -- a scenario we pondered when Bryant was released. When asked if there's a chance for Bryant to return, Marvin Lewis said during a Tuesday morning press conference that "I love the kid, and he’s such a football player. All he wants to do is play football, which is a good thing."Alright, so he didn't say anything that would help rip the fabric of space to take a peak into the future. With Lewisisms (or Lewisenese as some have called it), you have to read between the lines. Not that we're promoting Cincinnati bringing back Bryant; just saying he left that door open. That's all.

However, let's say that the team suffers a major injury at wide receiver midway through the season and Bryant remains a free agent. Would you go after Bryant, who could be healthy enough to play, or would you go with the younger guys already on the roster? The answer, of course, is based on the person -- some would like to give the younger guys a chance. Would another team snag Bryant beforehand? His injury, plus the relatively unknown question if Bryant was honest about his knee during Cincinnati's courting, would be a likely detriment.

However, what is becoming clearer this week is that his knee appears to be worse than we know.

In his opening August 29 article that reads, "the career of wide receiver Antonio Bryant could be in jeopardy because of recurring knee problems that date to the 2009 season, two NFL sources say", Yahoo! Sports' Jason Cole writes,

”He barely practiced in training camp and now this happens,” said a league source with knowledge of Bryant’s knee problems. ”The guy can’t stay healthy at this point. He gets to the point that he’s feeling good, then it swells on him again. When that keeps happening, that’s a very strong indication that there are structural problems.”

This indirectly corresponds with Peter King's latest Monday Morning Quarterback, writing:

"If you're not looking for it, you won't find it,'' this official said. "It's a long-term knee problem that won't go away.'' The ailment refers to a complicated cartilage injury to the knee.