With about five weeks until their first game of the season, the Cincinnati Bengals have already endured a somewhat worrying loss during the beginning stages of training camp. Defensive end Carlos Dunlap is officially out of practice due to a concussion, according to Adam Schefter.
The 24-year old Dunlap has 20 sacks, four forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, an interception and a touchdown in his first three seasons with the Bengals and over the offseason earned himself a 6-year, $40 million contract extension. The former Florida Gator is one of the Bengals’ most important players on the roster going forward and without him in camp there is cause to worry.
As of right now, there is no true timetable for his return. The only prognosis given for Dunlap has been “out for now,” which is not too descriptive especially with how the past few seasons have gone in the NFL.
Concussions have become a big concern for the league and have been the cause of plenty of safety and rule revisions over the years. It’s unclear whether Dunlap’s situation is too serious, but in any event a concussion is more serious than it used to be.
Without Dunlap on the field, the team has yet to see how that lucrative extension will affect his motivation and continued development. Training camp is somewhat of an overlooked event in the course of an NFL season and getting him on the field was definitely a priority given his $40 million deal.
Dunlap cannot return to the field until he is rid of the symptoms and cleared by a doctor, which will not be rushed. As more details emerge, I am sure we will update you with the latest on Dunlap and his timetable for getting back on the field.