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Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Leon Hall in final rehab stages

By Coley Harvey
ESPN.com

CINCINNATI -- If the Cincinnati Bengals were opening training camp next week, you would finally see long-injured cornerback Leon Hall back in uniform.

At least, that's what coach Marvin Lewis said Tuesday during a news conference that preceded the Bengals' first minicamp of the offseason. Lewis stopped short of saying the same for defensive tackle Geno Atkins, who also is rehabbing from a serious injury.

In addition, a league source told ESPN.com's Field Yates that tight end Jermaine Gresham, who Lewis has described as dealing with an undisclosed "physical issue," is recovering from hernia surgery conducted earlier this offseason.

Hall is in the final stages of his rehab from a right Achilles tear suffered while he defended Calvin Johnson on a goal-line fade at Detroit in October. It's the second time in three seasons that he has had to bounce back from an Achilles injury. He tore his left Achilles in the middle of the 2011 season and made it back to full activity in late June 2012, just before training camp opened that season. He is on much the same track this year. The Bengals' training camp opens July 24.

"Leon has had an amazing recovery thus far and hopefully continues with that pace," Lewis said. "Leon would be probably lining up to start training camp as he did two years ago, so he's done incredibly again."

Lewis' update on Atkins was less optimistic. The coach didn't want to commit to a date for when he thought the Pro Bowl lineman would return but remains hopeful he'll be in the starting lineup ahead of the Sept. 7 season opener.

"It's a little harder to tell that right now," Lewis said. "Geno's intent is, 'Whenever he can get back.' But again, you have to go through the process."

Atkins has been going through the rehabilitation process since Halloween night last year, when he tore his ACL on a Thursday at Miami. The South Florida native has been shelved along with Hall -- who hit injured reserve three weeks prior -- ever since. Both attended, but did not practice in, the voluntary organized team activities the Bengals held the past two weeks. They went through their own rehabilitation circuits Tuesday while the healthy players practiced in the first day of Cincinnati's mandatory minicamp.

Gresham was one of two players who didn't practice or train during the open portions of the workout, although he was present. It was the first time he had been seen around the team since OTAs began two weeks ago. The time frame for his return is not clear, although the team did recently sign veteran TE Alex Smith.

Defensive tackle Devon Still was not present. He was granted permission last week to attend to personal matters. He announced on social media Wednesday that his young daughter has cancer.

Information from ESPN.com's Field Yates was used in this report.