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Bengals taking methodical approach with Cedric Ogbuehi rehabilitation

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"There’s no timeline, there’s no race and so forth, but he’s able to stay up to speed with the things mentally and watch the techniques and so forth," said head coach Marvin Lewis.

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Cincinnati Bengals rookie Cedric Ogbuehi is hanging out this weekend, continuing a rehabilitation process that's kept him on the shelf since he suffered an ACL injury during the Liberty Bowl last December. As eight other drafted rookies, 11 college free agents and nearly 20 invitees are practicing on the field, Ogbuehi is becoming familiar in other aspects of his new NFL life as he undergoes a methodical pace to recover.

In the meantime, the Bengals aren't rushing anything.

"There’s no timeline, there’s no race and so forth, but he’s able to stay up to speed with the things mentally and watch the techniques and so forth," said head coach Marvin Lewis (via transcript).

"He can't go out and execute them on the field right now, but he'll be fine when the time comes. He just has to go through the steps. It’s our first chance to put hands on him and see where he is in the rehab process, and a lot of times where we think they are and where they thought they were are two different things. We'll get him ready to play football as soon as he proves to be ready."

Even when he's stamped with 100 percent recovery, how effective will he be? Players who recover from ACL injuries still require time to build strength (and confidence) in that knee. Our prime example is Geno Atkins, who tore an ACL in October '13 and was ready to practice by training camp the following season. However, he was a shell for most of the season with the belief that he spent the offseason recovering, rather than training.

Cincinnati selected Ogbuehi at No. 21 overall during the 2015 NFL draft as Andrew Whitworth and Andre Smith are entering 2015 with expiring contracts. The move allows Cincinnati to develop Ogbuehi, as he rehabilitates at his own pace for an eventual promotion into the lineup in 2016 -- he might play in various packages this year in jumbo formation (or god forbid, be called up to replace someone with a significant injury).