Gone are the days of carrying around a knee brace for Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins. The team medically cleared Atkins from the active physically unable to perform list on Wednesday.
Atkins is expected to practice with the team when they return to the field later on Wednesday afternoon.
"We're excited to have him back," said defensive tackle Domata Peko. "It just uplifts our whole defense. When he's out there, it's a whole different game."
Atkins will be back on the practice field for the first time since Halloween 2013, when he gave the entire city of Cincinnati a scare with his season ending injury, suffering a torn ACL in a loss to the Dolphins. Atkins recorded six sacks in just nine games last year to go along with his 20 tackles before his injury.
"I saw a little gleam in his eye during his walkthrough when I told him to get in there," said Bengals defensive line coach Jay Hayes. "He changes everything. People will adjust their protections to see where [No.] 97 is. Sometimes even double teams have trouble with him."
Atkins is a two-time pro bowl selection with the Bengals. He's entering his fifth season in the NFL and fifth in Cincinnati.
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