Bengals’ tackle Whitworth may miss opener

Published 1:45 am Thursday, September 5, 2013

CINCINNATI (AP) — Bengals left tackle Andrew Whitworth hasn’t fully recovered from offseason surgery to clean out his left knee, jeopardizing his chances of playing the season opener at Chicago.

The eighth-year veteran has started 67 consecutive games for the Bengals, who drafted him in the second round in 2006. The Bengals have gone easy with him during the offseason and training camp, giving him time to get the knee back to full strength.

Whitworth said on Wednesday that he’s “really close” to being ready, but it’ll be up to the medical staff to decide whether he plays on Sunday. Coach Marvin Lewis also was noncommittal, an indication that Whitworth may not play.

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Sixth-year lineman Anthony Collins would replace Whitworth. Collins has filled in at both tackle spots.

Also on Wednesday, the Bengals have returned veteran offensive tackle Dennis Roland to their roster and added quarterback Greg McElroy to their practice squad.

The Bengals also said Wednesday they have placed wide receiver Andrew Hawkins on the reserve/injured list while recovering from an ankle injury. Hawkins was second among Bengals wide receivers last year in receptions and receiving yards. He is eligible to play as early as Week 9.

Roland is a 6-foot-9, 315-pound sixth-year pro from Georgia. He played in every Bengals game since 2009. The club released him Aug. 31, but he rejoins the roster with Hawkins sidelined.

McElroy is a third-year pro from Alabama who was recently waived with an injury settlement by the New York Jets. He started one game last season.