As the Bengals opened their first minicamp practice Tuesday, it was nice to see defensive tackle Geno Atkins and cornerback Leon Hall in attendance.
Despite season-ending injuries in the middle of the 2013 season, both players are expected to be ready for the start of the regular season.
Marvin Lewis spoke more specifically about the status of Hall, who's rehabbing from his second torn Achilles.
He couldn't have been more optimistic about Hall, and said he's making a similar recovery as he did two years ago when tearing his opposite Achilles.
"Leon has had, again, an amazing recovery thus far," Lewis said. "Hopefully he continues with that pace. I will tell you if we were lining up to start training camp tomorrow Leon would probably be lining up to start training camp as we''."
As for Atkins, who tore his ACL in Week 9, he likely will miss the start of training camp, and probably will be held out of most of, if not all of the preseason games. But when asked if he has any concern that Atkins would be on the field for the first game of the season:
"I don't have any concern, no," Lewis said. "Geno all intentions is whenever he can get back. But, again, you have to go through the process."
Both players have played at an All-Pro level, and not having them down the stretch last year cost the Bengals a shot at earning a first-round bye instead of the Patriots.
In Week 4, with both Hall and Atkins healthy, Cincinnati suffocated Tom Brady and the Pats in what could have been the game that ultimately decided who claimed the AFC's No. 2 seed.