Bengals’ cornerback Leon Hall tore his Achilles only last November. Since this is normally a 12 month injury, there was a lot of speculation that Hall could begin the season on the PUP and miss at least the first 6 games of the season. However, Hall has silenced all of that speculation by getting cleared to participate fully in Training Camp just over 8 months after his injury.
Hall’s presence in the starting lineup will be huge for the Bengals. Including playoffs, Hall missed 9 games last year and the Bengals allowed 23.8 points per game in those games, as opposed to 17.5 per in the 8 he played. When he’s 100%, he’s one of the top-10 or so cornerbacks in the league. However, he’s unlikely to be 100% and might not be all season and such an early return increases the chance of re-injury. The Bengals, who didn’t beat a single playoff team last season (0-8), remain a strong candidate to regress this season, after improving 5 wins from 2010 to 2011 and making the playoffs last season.