With the 21st overall pick, the team took one of the top centers in the draft in Ohio State’s Billy Price. This clearly was the team’s biggest weakness right now, and thankfully, it’s been addressed with a guy the Bengals hope will be a pillar for their offensive line.
Price was once regarded as the top center in this draft, but that changed when he suffered a partially torn pectoral muscle suffered at the combine. He suffered the injury while on the bench press.
“Getting ready for the bench press, I got into my warmup set, had no problem, no issues,” Price said in march. “Got the first rep off, got to the third, thought I was still doing well, felt a pop. Immediately racked it. Something didn’t feel right. I’ve been lifting since I was in the fifth grade. I’m familiar with my body and I try to be very aware of what’s going on. I didn’t feel something right. I grabbed it. Felt a little bit of swelling a little bit of a pop or a tingle.”
Price met with the Indianapolis Colts’ doctors while at the combine, had an MRI and found the injury was “officially an incomplete pec tear with no grade, no issues like that,” he said after the combine. “Something very minor. Looking at the MRI results, we were able to see a little bit of an issue, nothing that’s going to force me to miss time at all. I’ll be fine for the season going forward and I should be fine going into training camp.”
Still, some thought it may be bad enough to keep him sidelined for training camp, the preseason and the beginning of his first regular season.
Thankfully, it now appears Price won’t miss any training camp. Prior to the draft, Price went to Indianpolis for medical rechecks on his injured pectoral. According to SB Nation’s Alexis Chassen, the recheck went very well.
Not long after that, Dr. David Altchek, who performed the surgery on Price’s injury, released a letter on his status:
”His prognosis is for a full recovery,” Altchek wrote. “It is anticipated that he will be able to participate in the NFL training camp at the end of July without restriction.”
If Price is in fact cleared to work in June and be ready for the start of training camp in late July, that bodes well for him being the Bengals’ starting center when Week 1 rolls around. While missing rookie minicamps is unfortunate, players don’t win and lose jobs without pads on.
When the pads go on in July, it sounds like Price will be out there with the rest of his new teammates.