The Cincinnati Bengals won’t have Joseph Ossai in Week 1, as the third-year defensive end is still recovering from an ankle injury suffered in the preseason finale. It was reportedly a high ankle sprain that could sideline him for up to four weeks.
During Friday’s practice, Ossai took a big step in his recovery by returning to the field with his uniform, helmet, and cleats.
Granted, he didn’t do any drills during the open portion of practice to media, but just being out there in uniform for the first time since his injury is a significant step.
Ossai jogs over with helmet in hand and is not participating in edge rush drills to start. So it would seem he is just dressed to be with his teammates.— Mike Petraglia (@Trags) September 8, 2023
Joseph Ossai (ankle) came out to practice in full gear and did stretching with teammates but didn't participate in individual pass-rush drills.— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) September 8, 2023
Rushing him back never made much sense, but a good sign for long run he even did as much as he has this week.
Unless there’s a setback, my guess is Ossai is back by the Week 3 Monday Night Football clash with the Los Angeles Rams. That may be the target game anyhow, as he’d get an extra day of recovery for that one.
In the meantime, the Bengals will be relying heavily on backups Cam Sample and Myles Murphy to help take some pressure off of starting ends Trey Hendrickson and Sam Hubbard.