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55 days until Bengals' regular-season opener

We're now 55 days away from regular-season Bengals football being played. Here's a look at players that wore No. 55:

In 55 days the Bengals will be playing regular-season football in Oakland and we're counting down the days by looking at the Bengals who wore the jersey number that corresponds. Here's a look at the history behind the #55 in Cincinnati.



Frank Buncom


Jim LeClair


Ed Brady


Lance Sellers


Randy Kirk


John Johnson


Andre Collins


Reinard Wilson (57)


Frank Chamberlin


Marcus Wilkins


Ahmad Brooks (50)


Keith Rivers


Vontaze Burfict


The first Bengal to wear the No. 55 for multiple seasons was arguably the best to ever wear it in Cincinnati. Drafted by the Bengals in the third round (54th overall) of the 1972 NFL Draft, Jim LeClair would go on to play in 158 career games (125 starts) at linebacker. He was named to the 1976 Pro Bowl and played all 12 years in the Queen City.

In 1981, LeClair was a starting linebacker on the Bengals team which won the AFC Championship Game against the Chargers, the game which became infamously called "The Freezer Bowl", the coldest game in NFL history. He then played in Super Bowl XVI, which the Bengals lost to the 49ers, 26-21... But let's not revisit that now.

Andre Collins would become the next Bengal to wear the No. 55 for at least three seasons in Cincinnati. Signed as a free agent from Washington in 1995, Collins went on to play in 46 career games (five starts) with the Bengals at linebacker. Collins then played with the Bears and Lions before retiring after a 10-year NFL career that saw him play in 144 career games (82 starts).

Next came Reinard Wilson in 1998. Drafted by the  Bengals in the first round (14th overall) of the 1997 draft, Wilson wore the No. 57 his first year with the Bengals before switching to 55 his second year. Though drafted high, Wilson never lived up to his billing, playing in just 93 career games (23 starts) while notching 178 career tackles.

Unfortunately, Wilson wouldn't be the player to wear No. 55 and fail to live up to his draft status. Keith Rivers was drafted ninth overall in the 2008 draft, but played just 2.5 seasons in Cincinnati after missing half of his rookie year with a broken jaw, suffered at the hands of Steelers receiver Hines Ward. He did have a nice stretch from 2009-10 while racking up 149 tackles. A wrist injury cost him his entire 2011 season before he was traded to the Giants in 2012.

Since then, Vontaze Burfict has donned the No. 55. After signing with Cincinnati as an undrafted free agent in 2012, Burfict became one of the NFL's best linebackers while racking up 298 tackles during his first two years in the NFL and was named to the 2013 Pro Bowl. However, concussions and knee injuries sidelined him for most of 2014, and he now may open the 2015 season on PUP.