Cincinnati Bengals star defensive tackle Geno Atkins suffered an ACL tear in Week 9 last season, and it was once thought that Atkins would not be a lock to play in Week 1. But those worries dissipated over time, and even though Atkins was placed on the active/PUP list to start training camp, the Bengals stated that they were only doing it to evaluate him and ease him into things.
According to ESPN’s Adam Caplan, the Bengals announced that they have activated Atkins from the PUP list today, and he should be considered a lock to play in Week 1. It will be interesting to see how they manage his snaps in training camp and the preseason, because he’s one of the last guys who needs tune-up games. Atkins is one of the game’s best players at any position, and he should be raring and ready to go by the time the first week of the regular season rolls around.
After recording a ridiculous 12.5 sacks in 2012, Atkins notched six sacks in just nine appearances last season. A playmaker on the defensive line, very little players can bring pressure as quickly as Atkins, who is arguably the most disruptive defensive tackle in the game (right there with Gerald McCoy and Ndamukong Suh). The Bengals will allow Atkins to take his time now that he’s been cleared, but it’s definitely a positive sign.