After the Cincinnati Bengals lost slot receiver Andrew Hawkins a week ago after he who suffered a high-ankle sprain during practice, it was expected the injury would knock him out of action for a good portion of the preseason.
Yesterday before practice, Hawkins was walking around without a boot or cast on his injured ankle today. This, after suffering the injury that’s sidelined him nearly three weeks ago, and he’s progressed to the point and he’s able to work with Director of Rehabilitation Nick Cosgray, and the latest from Geoff Hobson suggests that he should go to the I.R. designated list, but be back fairly quickly after that:
While he’s still looking at a trip to the injured reserve-recall that would take him out of first half of the season, Hawkins is encouraged because the ankle looks like it’s ahead of schedule.
“It seems to be,” Hawkins said Monday before the Bengals underwent a light practice inside Paul Brown Stadium. “It’s early in the process, but I’m just pleased to be out of the cast and working with Nick. He’s really good with this stuff. It feels better and I’m working on strengthening it and the mobility.”
If Hawkins does go on the IR, it would be a significant loss, but it wouldn’t be nearly as costly as previous seasons when the IR designation meant you were done for the year.
Hawkins was projected to compete with second-year WR Mohamed Sanu to be the starting slot receiver.
Despite missing two games last season due to a knee injury, Hawkins still finished the 2012 season ranked third on the team in both receptions (51) and receiving yards (533). He also had four TD catches, including one of 59 and one of 50 yards.