Don't worry about Andrew Whitworth.
Nor is the training staff. Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis is concerned about having enough stamina for a 70-play afternoon during the regular season. But those are talking points made about any offensive lineman who plays a position that's actively involved in every play.
Coming off knee surgery earlier this year to remove scar tissue, Whitworth spent the offseason rehabilitating and strengthening his knee while most of the team practiced during training sessions over the spring and early summer months. As part of the continued and evolving gameplan, Whitworth and the team is applying caution during his continued rehabilitation.
Despite having missed three practices in the last four days (Tuesday was an off-day for players), Whitworth says that his knee feels good, but needs more time to strengthen it for the regular season.
"Strength-wise it's good, feels solid," Whitworth said via Bengals.com. "You're still going to have some bumps along the road as far as football's a violent game, so you're going to have to get yourself used to working yourself back through things," Whitworth said before Wednesday's practice. "That's why a lot of guys that have postseason surgery don't do a lot in the preseason sometimes just because you're kind of working through the whole deal of recovering from a surgery and trying to do football stuff. So we'll continue to have a plan to deal with it."
However, there's the application of conservatism, writes Joe Reedy with the Cincinnati Enquirer. Whitworth said that the "plan is to give the knee time to strengthen a little more."
"The thing you can’t simulate is football. It’s getting out there and doing football, and with something like this – it’s a tendon – it has to do something and adjust and then do a little more and then adjust. That’s what we will do," Whitworth said. "It’s just like anything else, you have to develop the strength in it. This is kind of the first step in football. We’ll progress through that."
When asked what he needs to do prepare for the season, Whitworth showed an impressive imitation of Socrates.
"Depends on what the need is. Is need technically how much do I need to be ready? I don't think I need a lot," Whitworth said. "I understand how to play, I know what I am good at and I have done it for a long time. What is need, do I need to practice? I don't know, if you are coming back from surgery and you are going to push something a little too fast it becomes not a need because now you are doing more damage then you are doing positive. It's going to be just making sure that as the doctor keeps telling me, we have plenty of track record that you are tough. It's not a tough thing, you need to take care of yourself."
Whitworth told reporters that he's not sure if he'll play the preseason this year, but he'll be ready for the regular season opener in Chicago. That is if he ever takes a breather from his shocking philosophical nature.