A lot has been made about the Bengals needing a more reliable No.2 receiving option opposite A.J. Green this offseason. It's unknown whether or not Jerome Simpson will return to man that position because of his recent legal battles. Whether it ends up being a veteran or a rookie, the need is there and the team seems to recognize it.
Something that seems to have gone overlooked in that department was the season-ending knee injury to slot receiver, Jordan Shipley. A true "chain-mover" and third down conversion machine, Shipley's presence was sorely missed during the 2011 season--even if it wasn't always noted. Unfortunately, Shipley's injury occurred at such an early point in the season (Week Two against the Broncos), that he barely had a chance to contribute to the team's success in 2011.
Bengals Head Coach Marvin Lewis spoke with the media on Friday in Indianapolis at the Scouting Combine and gave injury updates to two of his injured players in 2011: Leon Hall and Shipley. Lewis not only gave fans good news regarding Hall, but also had some about Shipley's rehab as well.
And one more injury update, Lewis said and that wide receiver Jordan Shipley (knee) continues to make "significant progress".
Knee injuries in today's NFL are far more treatable than they used to be. Over the last decade, significant scientific progress has been made about the procedures and the rehabilitation associated with an injury like Shipley's. Fortunately, because of that progress, the rehab time has greatly decreased as has the propensity for these injury's to ruin a player's career. Obviously, with these quotes from Lewis, that doesn't seem to be a concern in Shipley's case.
Like Hall, Shipley is also no doubt benefiting from the revamped medical staff and a full offseason to rehab properly without a lockout hindering that process. It would seem that given the type of injuries sustained between these two, as well as when they occurred in the season that it would be Shipley who sees the field first. Time will tell, but the prognosis is looking optimistic in both cases.