On Wednesday, head coach Zac Taylor said Atkins would return to practice this week, beginning with individual work on Wednesday, and the team is hopeful he can play Sunday.
Head Coach Zac Taylor is "hopeful" for getting Geno Atkins back this week. They're still taking it day to day with Atkins, but Taylor said he will start to work through individual drills through the course of the week.— Marisa Contipelli (@BengalsMarisa) September 30, 2020
Atkins was later seen in full pads doing drills.
It’s not been a great start for the Bengals, but they’ve still been competitive without Atkins. It’s easy to wonder if this team could be 3-0 had Atkins played in the last three games, which included a tie and two losses by a combined eight points.
Atkins has missed the last month of action after injuring his shoulder in the team’s final preseason scrimmage, and the Bengals are currently winless without their star defender. He hasn’t officially practiced since then and probably will be listed as a limited participant today. Since he’s missed so much time, Atkins probably needs at least a few full practice sessions before the team is comfortable playing him in games.
While Atkins has been out, the Bengals have gotten good production out of Mike Daniels and Christian Covington, so this defensive tackle rotation could be very scary going forward if Atkins gets back to his Pro Bowl form.