How Andre Smith's 2009 Holdout Affected the Bengals Lineman's Recent Surgery

Dan ParzychSenior Writer IFebruary 17, 2010

SAN DIEGO - DECEMBER 20:  Tackle Andre Smith #71 of the Cincinnati Bengals on the field in warmups against the San Diego Chargers on December 20, 2009 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California.  The Chargers won 27-24.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Cincinnati Bengals offensive lineman Andre Smith Cincinnati-Bengals-Examiner~y2010m2d15-The-frustration-of-Bengals-Andre-Smith-continues-after-foot-surgery-will-sideline-him-10-weeksr" title="recently underwent surgery">recently underwent surgery on the same foot that kept him sidelined for a majority of his rookie season.

The surgery was performed as a clean-up procedure to prevent future breaks and will keep him out for the next 10 weeks.

Even though his rehabilitation should have him return in time for the start of organized team activities in May, there seems to be a ton of frustration with Smith during his time here in Cincinnati.

The former first-round pick out of Alabama was expected to have an immediate impact on a Bengals offensive line that finished third in 2008 by allowing 51 sacks.

While the offensive line saw a drastic improvement in 2009, Smith was a non-factor and never made the immediate impact the Bengals hoped he would have after he fractured his foot during training camp—an injury that seems like it could have been avoided.

After holding out of training camp until the end of August for a bigger contract, Smith fractured his foot in just his second day with his new team. The injury came during a non-contact drill—which was even more frustrating for a Bengals team who spent so long to just get him to camp.

Two days after the organization finally agreed to pay him a large sum of money (four-year deal worth $26 million with $21 million guaranteed), he was expected to miss a few months, if not the entire season.

During his holdout, while the rest of his teammates were participating in training camp, Smith did his best to stay in shape by working out with a personal trainer. However, the argument can be made that Smith wasn't in the correct shape he should have been when he finally decided to attend training camp at the end of August—which also brings in the question of whether or not his foot fracture could have been avoided.

There is a significant difference on the intensity between working out with a trainer and participating in training camp with a professional football team. If Smith had just put his selfishness aside and entered training camp on time last year, there's a good chance this foot injury would never have even happened.

Instead, the Bengals will have to be prepared in case this foot injury has an affect on their plans for 2010. He may be expected to return in May, but that doesn't mean Smith will be in the type of shape Cincinnati hopes for him to be in.

For the meantime, the frustration behind Andre Smith continues for the Bengals and their fans in Cincinnati.

Dan Parzych is the Cincinnati Bengals Examiner for

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