Bengals Pro Bowl linebacker Vontaze Burfict returned to practice on Thursday after missing the first six weeks of the season on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list.
“It’s been hard, long and stressful, but I’m here now,” said Burfict. “I’m almost healthy and hopefully I can get out there and play on Sunday one of these days.”
Burfict underwent major knee surgery in January and hasn’t played in a game since he injured his knee on October 26, 2014. There is a possibility the Bengals star linebacker could return this Sunday in Pittsburgh, but he admitted it could take some time.
“Of course I would want to go . I’m a football player. I’m competitive. That’s up to Marvin ,” said Burfict. “My mind is to play, but that’s up to Marvin.”
“If we feel like he’s ready to play, he’ll go right away,” said Bengals Defensive Coordinator Paul Guenther. “We just have to go through the rest of the week. If he’s ready to go and up and active, then he’ll play.”
The Bengals now have a 21-day window to activate Burfict. If he doesn’t return this Sunday, the next two chances for Burfict to make his season debut would be Thursday, Nov. 5 at home against the Browns or Monday, Nov. 16 at home against the Texans.