CINCINNATI -- As the Cincinnati Bengals begin their bye week, they do so knowing that two of their fallen defensive players are officially on the mend and in the initial phases of their lengthy rehab processes.
Coach Marvin Lewis said Monday that both cornerback Leon Hall and defensive tackle Geno Atkins have made it through their respective surgeries. He hasn't yet heard how well Atkins' surgery to repair a torn right ACL went, but he acknowledged that it happened late last week. Hall's procedure to fix an Achilles tear suffered last month at Detroit came a few weeks ago and "went very, very well," Lewis said.
Like they have done with past long-term injuries, including Hall's Achilles tear two seasons ago, the Bengals are sending Hall and Atkins to trainer Nick Cosgray, the team's director of rehabilitation.
"He's always been important," Lewis said. "Obviously, he's been down this road before with Leon. We know the expectations, and Leon now knows what's ahead."
Hall tore his left Achilles two seasons ago, and completed rehab just in time to fully participate in preseason camp last year. In Week 7 of this year, during a goal-line stand, he tore his right Achilles trying to disrupt a pass thrown to Lions receiver Calvin Johnson along the side of the end zone. His feet gave way as soon as he tried to jump for the ball.
Atkins' injury came Halloween night during the Bengals' Week 9 game at Miami. It was the most recent major injury in a long line of them for the Bengals. After Robert Geathers suffered a season-ending elbow injury in Week 2, the Bengals lost Hall, defensive back Taylor Mays and Atkins in a three-week span in the middle of the season. Linebacker Rey Maualuga and defensive tackle Devon Still also have been battling through their own injuries for the past month, but are expected back in time for next week's game at San Diego.
"It's going to be new waters with Geno," Lewis said of Atkins' rehab. "We just have to convince him how important it is that we get hands on him early and get him going. We believe that our people here do the best job they can for the players, as opposed to someone else's people. These are the people we trust in and their job is to get our guys back on the field as healthy as they can and as quickly as they can. We feel it's best they are here doing it, and Nick has done a tremendous job of it. We need the same kind of outcome with these last two."