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Thomas Howard expected to visit the Bengals

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Former Bengals linebacker Thomas Howard is still recovering from an ACL tear from 2012. The Bengals could be bringing him into town to get an update.

Andy Lyons

For fans clamoring to bring Thomas Howard back, you might get what you want.

According to Geoff Hobson with Bengals.com, the Cincinnati Bengals are "believed" to be bringing Thomas Howard this week "to get updated on the ACL he tore in practice" prior to the team's second regular season game of the season last year. Howard's injury directly resulted in Vontaze Burfict's rise as the team's best linebacker, generating 174 tackles during his rookie season last year.

Howard led the team with 120 stops in 2011, and generated a quarterback sack and four passes defensed during his only full season with the Bengals. His two-year contract expired in early March and he's remained a free agent ever since. Only one team expressed interest in Howard during the offseason when the Miami Dolphins hosted the veteran in early March.

Still recovering and rehabilitating his knee, it would seem extremely unlikely that the team would sign Howard this week for the purposes of placing him on the active roster. He hasn't had any football activity for almost a calendar year, but the door for an eventual Howard return shouldn't stay shut for long.

But first thing's first. How is the ACL?