There is the chance that Bengals first-round draft pick OT Andre Smith could be game-ready by Cincinnati’s Oct. 25 game against Chicago. It appears to be more likely, though, that Smith won’t play until the Nov. 8 game against the Baltimore Ravens, following the Bengals’ bye week.
Smith has not played this season after a lengthy contract dispute and a fractured foot sustained shortly after his late arrival in training camp, but will soon return to practice.
“His progress has been great. He’s been out of the boot, this is his fifth or sixth day, and he’s doing really well,” coach Marvin Lewis said. “He will get some on-field football work in the next 10 days to two weeks and then back into practice. He’s been getting some great conditioning work in and study in meetings. He’s worked his butt off. He traveled with us for the first time (to Cleveland last weekend) because he was no longer limited in his movements.
“His foot is healing. We’ll keep going through the process and hopefully we’ll gain one of our better players shortly.”
Smith’s improved conditioning is a big deal since he reported to the team at more than 360 pounds after missing most of training camp. The Outland Trophy winner from Alabama was projected to start at right tackle, but that position has been held by Anthony Collins.