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Bengals first-round pick Billy Price says he’s “fully cleared” from combine injury

This is major news for the Bengals and the team’s first-round draft pick.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals-Billy Price Press Conference Cincinnati Enquirer-USA TODAY NETWORK

The Bengals will have their first-round pick ready to rock when training camp opens.

On Monday, Billy Price announced he had received full medical clearance from his doctors. Once regarded as the best center in the 2018 NFL Draft, Price suffered a partially torn pectoral muscle at the NFL Scouting Combine. He suffered the injury while on the bench press, as he was just getting started in front of a crowd of spectators and scouts.

Initially, it looked bad enough to keep him out for all offseason workouts and part of the preseason. But right before the draft, Price’s doctors said he would be cleared for the first day of training camp and that the injury was not major. It looks like that was accurate.

Price has also been getting some light work in at OTAs, so it’s no real surprise to see him getting full medical clearance going into the summer break. He even said during minicamp that medical clearance was likely coming this week. He already had been running and doing bench presses at the Bengals’ facility with supervision from the training staff, now it looks like he’s ready for full contact, too.

The former Ohio State Buckeyes center was the the Bengals’ first-round selection in the 2018 NFL Draft, going 21st overall. He was a four-year starter at Ohio State and left Columbus as one of the most decorated offensive linemen in program history.

Price was a two-time team captain, two-time All-American (including a unanimous choice in 2017), the 2017 Big Ten Rimington-Pace winner as the conference’s top offensive lineman, the 2017 Rimington Trophy winner as college football’s top center, and a two-time Academic All-Big Ten performer.

The 6’4”, 305-pound Price started at guard for three seasons (2014-16) before moving to center as a senior (2017), and he finished his career with school records for both total and consecutive starts (55).

Price blocked for two Big Ten championship teams (2014 and 2017) and one national championship (2014), and Ohio State’s offenses ranked in the top 20 nationally in rushing all four of his seasons.

Now, Price will look to provide a major upgrade to a position that’s been a major weakness for the Bengals since the days of Rich Braham. Price may have been viewed as a slight reach where the Bengals took him, but he’s still likely going to be a major boost for a Bengals offensive line that severely needed an upgrade at center.