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Chidobe Awuzie gives positive injury update, eyeing season opener as return date

The star cornerback may be back sooner than expected.

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Cincinnati Bengals v Cleveland Browns Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

The Cincinnati Bengals may need to address the cornerback position in the upcoming NFL Draft, and some analysts actually have them drafting a corner in the first round.

While that will still be a priority, fans will be glad to hear starting cornerback Chidobe Awuzie is making progress on his ACL rehab. Awuzie, who signed with the team in 2021 from Dallas, immediately became the team’s best option at the position.

He was often the key force on the edge for Cincinnati but managed snaps in just eight games last season before suffering a season-ending ACL injury at Cleveland.

With journeyman Eli Apple and rookie Cam Taylor-Britt on the boundary, the Bengals struggled to keep pace against Kansas City in the AFC Championship Game, although the duo did play very well the week before against Buffalo.

As for Awuzie, per The Athletic’s Jay Morrison, he said he feels “really good” after reporting for offseason workouts on Monday.

“Hopefully it’s not telling me I’m gonna have one in the future, but everything’s been moving steadily. You know, maybe I gotta thank my parents for my genes or something or the food that they fed me, but you know, I’m doing pretty good,” Awuzie said.

Awuzie is eyeing the season opener for his return from injury, and the progress he continues to make seems like that will be a real possibility.

For Cincinnati, the idea that Awuzie and Taylor-Britt could be their cornerback duo with Mike Hilton in the slot should be reassuring for how well the defensive will continue to play. Awuzie ended last season with 35 tackles and 5 passes defended.

While the eight games are a small sample size, he had a career-low 38% completion rate as well, which would have been a career-best year from Awuzie, and it’s unfortunate he couldn’t end it by helping the Bengals get to the Super Bowl.

Nonetheless, Awuzie seems primed to return stronger than ever, and that should be huge for Cincinnati moving forward.

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