CINCINNATI — Don’t expect a reunion in between Cincinnati Bengals and former All-Pro tackle Andrew Whitworth.
Cincinnati coach Jack Taylor laughed at the idea of luring the off-air Whitworth, who retired after last season, to fill the Bengals’ void at right tackle. In so many words, Taylor all but ruled out Whitworth as a possibility.
“We have good people in the building that we trust,” Taylor said with a smile.
Taylor said starting right tackle La’el Collins A left knee injury suffered in the team’s win will likely rule out the season New England Patriots on Saturday. Taylor said the team is still gathering more information but is “not optimistic” Collins will be able to return.
In a podcast released Tuesday, Whitworth said any time an offensive lineman is injured, his Twitter notifications get busy. This was especially true when Collins suffered his injury.
Whitworth retired earlier this year after he helped out Los Angeles Rams Beat the Bengals in Super Bowl LVI. The 41-year-old capped off a 16-year career that included two All-Pro selections, four Pro Bowl nods and the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award in 2021. for the next 11 seasons before finishing a five-year career with the Rams. Since retiring, Whitworth has been part of Amazon Prime Video’s NFL coverage, which debuted this season.
on “Seasons with Peter Schrager” podcastWhitworth said he never ruled out a return.
“I think for me, just being who I am, I’ve said it since the day I retired, I’ll never say never,” Whitworth said. “There’s always an opportunity. I like adventure. I like to take chances.”
However, he noted that he spent most of his career as a left tackle and that the transition to right tackle is difficult. Whitworth added that any decision to return would not be about tarnishing his legacy but about not letting down future teammates.
“I don’t want to go out there and ruin their chances, not knowing what I’m really capable of,” Whitworth said, referring to Cincinnati’s postseason odds.
Third year player Hakeem Adeniji Collins is expected to be replaced for the rest of the season. Adeniji, who finished his college career at Kansas playing left tackle, has experience on both sides of the line of scrimmage. As a rookie, he made three starts at left tackle and one at right tackle. Last season, Adeniji started the final nine games, including Super Bowl LVI, at right guard.
“It was kind of a new playing guard last year,” Adeniji told reporters Tuesday. “It’s pretty much normal game tackle. That whole camp and the first season as opposed to last year, I definitely feel a lot better.”
Taylor will not make any announcements about the position for the upcoming game against the team Buffalo Bill “Monday Night Football.” He said if Cincinnati’s scouting department presented any potential options for new players, he would consider them.
However, the fourth-year coach reiterated his confidence in those already on the roster.
“We’ve got guys that we’ve developed here, worked in our system, that we’ve got a high level of confidence in that can help us do the things we need to do this year,” Taylor said.
Other injury news could make the Bengals tight end Hayden Hurst Bill is for the showdown. Hurst has missed the past three games with a right cuff injury. Taylor said he was held out for the team’s Week 16 win over the Patriots for precautionary reasons.
“I thought if we could give it another nine days he would be in great form this week,” Taylor said. “So, very optimistic about him.”