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After heart surgery, Bengals OT Jake Fisher cleared for offseason workouts

Jake Fisher has been cleared for heavy lifting and his regular football duties after having surgery for his irregular heartbeat.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Jake Fisher is travelling down a long road to get back on the field.

Fisher was put on injured reserve last season after he was sent to the hospital in Jacksonville because of an irregular heartbeat, which led to a procedure for atrial fibrillation.

Now, he’s ready for offseason work.

According to Geoff Hobson of the Bengals’ official site, Fisher has been cleared for heavy weight lighting, offseason programs and his regular football duties. Fisher is happy to be making progress.

“I’ve been working with lighter ones, but now I’m back to off-season workouts,”Fisher told Hobson. “You have to be conscious of it. You have to monitor it. But you still have to live life. You can’t let it cripple you in any way.”

Fisher’s surgery was a pretty big scare, and it happened during what was supposed to be his best season. After the Bengals let Andrew Whitworth walk in free agency, the team moved Cedric Ogbuehi over to the left side.

This freed up the right tackle position for Fisher. It was his first chance to be a full-time starter. He had often filled the role of the eligible linemen and even fullback, but this was his first chance to show what he was made of at the position he was drafted at.

He did show promise and enough potential that we could believe he could grow into being a starter.

Now, Fisher is feeling good about what lies ahead.

“During the first three months you have to watch it, but who wants to live like that?” Fisher asked. “No one wants to live in that constant stage of what is my heart doing? Check it every once in a while here and there, go to the spot in your house where you want to check it (on a heart monitor) and leave the crap there and go live your life. It’s not enjoyable. It’s not what life is about.”

“I feel good … 305 pounds. I have to put on a little body fat, but I’m ready to go.”

Getting back into football shape will be one of the important offseason tasks for Fisher as he returns. He will also probably be learning a slightly new system with Bill Lazor infusing more of his offense rather than using the remnants of Ken Zampese’s system. Fisher will also be greeted with a brand new offensive line coach in Frank Pollack.

“I think Frank is going to help us the way he coaches, the way he sees football and can help young guys learn from a new coach with different techniques. For me, last year was a big jump mentally because I played so much but our team didn’t play as well as we wanted ,” he said. “But I think we’re there.”

It is great to see Fisher with such a fresh outlook on what could be a season that defines his career.