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All signs point to Sam Hubbard having a career year in 2023

The defensive end is healthy and hungry.

Cincinnati Bengals Offseason Workout Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Just six months ago, Sam Hubbard completed one of the most memorable plays in Cincinnati Bengals history, the “Rumble in the Jungle,” a 98-yard fumble return that put the Bengals ahead of the Baltimore Ravens for good in a Wildcard matchup between the AFC North rivals.

And he did that just four weeks after suffering a torn calf against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Before that game against Tom Brady and company, Hubbard had 6.5 sacks, including sacks in three straight games.

And the previous year, Hubbard ended the season playing with a torn labrum and torn meniscus but still sacked Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes on back-to-back plays to propel Cincinnati to the Super Bowl.

Recently, Hubbard shared with’s Geoff Hobson that it took him “about a year of physical therapy to get back to normal” following that glorious run to the AFC Championship. And yet he was still able to put up strong numbers and sacked Mahomes again in last year’s AFC Championship Game.

Now Hubbard is finally healthy, telling Hobson that, “This is the best I’ve felt in my whole career by a landslide physically.”

And the self-branded “best run edge defender in the league” is working hard on developing more pass rush moves with defensive line coach Marion Hobby.

He’s also developed a routine that’ll hopefully help him withstand the rigors of the NFL, telling Hobson: “My core discipline, my routine during the week, cold exposure, sauna, nutrition. It’s a little bit better in all areas... I’m ready to put it all together.”

The Cincinnati kid is hoping to hit double-digit sacks in the regular season for the first time in his career, but, more importantly, he wants to finish the job and win a championship.

“My main goal and only goal is to win the Super Bowl,” he said. With added support in the pass rush from rookie Myles Murphy and an emerging Joseph Ossai, it’s quite possible that Hubbard will hit both goals.

So where will Cincinnati finish in the AFC next year? We previewed the conference with none other than former Bengal Adam Pacman Jones:

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