Atkins suffered a torn rotator cuff last season, but he is officially good to go. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports Atkins was cleared for all football activity in mid-June by Dr. Dan Cooper, and he should start to draw interest on the free-agent market soon.
Atkins spent the first 11 years of his career with the Bengals, and he was an absolute menace as an interior pass rusher. He racked up at least nine sacks in four straight seasons from 2015 through 2018, but his play has dwindled over the past two years. He managed just 4.5 sacks in 16 games in 2019, and he didn’t record a single sack in eight games last season. Overall, he earned a Pro Football Focus grade of just 61.4 as a pass rusher, which was the lowest mark of his career. Still, someone will give Atkins a chance given his previous production.
If he can recapture his pre-injury form, he has the potential to be one of the most impactful players still left on the market. Atkins isn’t currently listed as an option for Comeback Player of the Year on FanDuel Sportsbook, but he could put himself in the conversation with a big season.
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