Carl Lawson appeared poised to develop into a game-wrecking force after an 8.5 sack 2017 beginner performance. Subsequently the Cincinnati Bengals edge rusher went last 14, down early in Week 8 with a torn right ACL.
Through seven full weeks of this 2018 effort, Lawson created just one sack, but provided constant pressure off the Bengals’ border. His injury was a massive blow to Cincy’s defense, and the product the Bengals deployed the remainder of the season reflected his absence. The 24-year-old entered the NFL with health issues following managing accidents during his stint at Auburn, such as a left ACL tear.
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During offseason workouts this summer, Lawson rehabbed across the side and has insisted he isn’t pushing to be ready for training camp till he’s 100 percent. On Monday, the defensive end told NFL Network’s Good Morning Soccer he’s eyeing Week 1.
“The purpose is to be out there Week 1, and I’m feeling good,” Lawson explained. “Thankfully I can look after my body, I’ve got lots of different resources, I can fly to places, I will do everything beneath the sun because I have the cash to get it done. So, it’s been a great rehab procedure.”
Through a half seasons, Lawson exhibited a nose for the quarterback, together with the ability to use blazing rate on the border and flip that rate into electricity when needed. The hope is that after he is healthy, the new regime in Cincinnati will utilize him as more than a rotational rusher as he develops.
The injury-ravaged Bengals saw crucial pieces go down last season, including Lawson, Andy Dalton, A.J. Green, Preston Brown and Tyler Eifert. Every group deals with injuries, but the Bengals appear to be especially snakebitten of late — already watching first-round pick Jonah Williams return this offseason with a shoulder injury.
Lawson believes if the Bengals can stay healthy, they might surprise in 2019.
“You can expect a great deal, but at exactly the exact same time, in this league, that’s what distinguishes distinct teams, being in a position to be healthy throughout the entire year,” he explained. “I believe the main thing is having the ability to get that depth, which carry over, so when things do happen. You know, because everyone’s like’Oh, well if we were wholesome, if this or that, whatever’ — maybe not that many injuries as we had last year — but I believe that you can expect a lot from us.”
The Bengals remain a mystery in the AFC North. An entirely healthy Lawson to start the 2019 effort would provide a massive increase to a defense that may supply an intriguing mixture of rush and coverage skill if everyone can stay on the field.
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