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Bengals RB Joe Mixon could return from knee injury in Week 4 vs. Falcons, per report

This is great news, but the Bengals should not rush Mixon back onto the field.

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Bengals running back Joe Mixon is just eight days removed from knee surgery to repair a partially torn MCL and remove a particle in his knee, but he actually was trying to play in Cincinnati’s matchup with the Panthers in Carolina today. Mixon has been ruled out of the game, along with rookie center Billy Price.

But, there’s a chance that Mixon plays when the Bengals take on the Falcons in Week 4. This, according to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora who says Mixon is “at least a possibility” to play when the Bengals travel to Atlanta next week.

Joe Mixon, who’s quickly establishing himself as an elite dual-threat running back in his second NFL season, was actually pushing the Bengals to try to return by Sunday from last week’s knee scope, sources said, and he remains at least a possibility to play in Week 4.

Mixon’s surgery was performed on the Saturday following the Bengals’ Week 2 Thursday Night Football win against the Ravens. His timeline to return was set at two to four weeks, meaning he could return against the Falcons next week. But the Bengals would be wise to make sure he’s fully ready and not rushing back. It’s better that he misses another week than rushes back and jeopardizes his season.

“It’s my call,” Mixon said earlier this week when asked when he’d return to the field. Mixon was on the zero-gravity treadmill on Thursday and said he feels great. “Doing some striders and getting in a little conditioning.”

Mixon was on the rehab field on Friday during practice and looks to be moving around pretty well following surgery. His hopes remain high and while he could return next week against the Falcons, it’s more likely he makes his return to the field in Week 5 against the Dolphins. The Bengals then play the Steelers in Week 6.

While Mixon is out, Giovani Bernard will serve as his replacement with rookie Mark Walton helping out and the newly-signed Thomas Rawls potentially making his Bengals debut, too.