The Bengals drafted a solid stable of running backs in 2019, but the two rookies didn’t get much action last year. Part of that was due to Joe Mixon’s dominance on the field, and part of it was due to injury.
On Day 3 of the draft, the Bengals picked up Treyveon Williams and Rodney Anderson. They both had phenomenal preseasons, up until Anderson tore his ACL for the second time. He sat out his entire rookie season and has been working on getting back onto the field ever since.
Anderson recently told Dan Hoard on the Bengals Booth Podcast how his rehab and recovery were going.
“They’re going really well,” he said. “I’m back cutting, running full speed. I’ve been working at this training facility in Kentucky called PeakFAST — just conditioning and strength stuff — pretty much Monday through Saturday.”
The term “injury prone” isn’t a label that’s universally accepted. If it was, it might get stuck on Anderson. He missed 2016 with a broken vertebrae and tore the same ACL in 2018. His ugly injury history is the reason he was available in the sixth round of the draft.
“It’s tough,” Anderson said. “You don’t want it to happen to you, but like I said, God has a plans that we really don’t understand. I just try to trust in that and whatever happens next — I’ll just take it as it comes.”
Injuries at running back led the Bengals to claim Samaje Perine, a former teammate of Anderson’s and Mixon’s at Oklahoma, off of waivers.
Now, Anderson, Williams, and Perine are going to have to compete with a few other newcomers for Mixon’s and Giovani Bernard’s backup roles.
Anderson is still taking advantage of every opportunity he can, even if he can’t be on the field or lately, at team facilities.
“Staying in the meeting rooms whenever I was able to be more mobile after my surgery was definitely a huge help,” Anderson said. “It helped me get a bigger understanding of the offense and just things as a whole. It kept me connected with my teammates as well. I didn’t get to do anything physically with them, but mentally, I would consider myself on the same page.”
He, like the rest of us, is just ready to get back to football.
“I’m anxious to get started,” he said. “I feel confident in myself and I also feel confident in the team. I feel like it’s going to be a way better season than last year. I think it’s going to come together.”