American Football

La’el Collins suffered torn ACL, MCL vs. Patriots


Cincinnati Bengals v New England Patriots
Photo by Nick Grace/Getty Images

Collins’ MRI revealed bad news, but could Andrew Whitworth be his short-term replacement?

The Cincinnati Bengals prevented a Christmas miracle by stopping the New England Patriots’ second-half comeback, but they couldn’t get one with their starting right tackle.

Per’s Kelsey Conway, an MRI on La’el Collins revealed he did indeed tear his ACL and MCL vs. New England.

The injury looked very apparent in real time as Collins’ left knee was rolled up on late in the first quarter. He was able to leave the field under his own power, and was subsequently carted to the locker room after passing the on field ACL exam. After the game, Collins told reporters he dislocated his knee cap and popped it back in place, which is what happened to Jonah Williams earlier this year.

But nothing is ever a sure thing until the MRI, and it confirmed the worst news for Collins and the Bengals.

ACL recoveries have been reduced to about a nine-month endeavor for most, so a seven-month timeline for Collins is very optimistic. That could mean the damage isn’t as bad as most, but so many other variables will go into his recovery.

For now, the Bengals will charge on with Hakeem Adeniji at right tackle and D’Ante Smith as the new swing tackle… unless Andrew Whitworth wants to un-retire?

In a recent appearance on the Pardon My Take podcast, Whitworth expressed some desire to return and overtake Jeff Saturday as the winningest offensive lineman in NFL history.

Whitworth, who retired last year after defeating the Bengals in the Super Bowl, last played for Cincinnati in 2016 after an 11-year run with the club. His departure from the organization has been well documented by now, but if the Bengals were to drop a bag to get him back, would he turn down another run at a championship?

This is more hope than anything, of course, but crazier things have happened.

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