Aaron Kampman: Is His Wait to Play Finally over for the Jaguars?
And each week, Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio has given the media and anyone listening the same answer to the question they have asked.
Aaron Kampman hasn't been ready to play since tearing his ACL in the eighth game of the 2010 NFL season.
This week however, Del Rio may finally be able to give everyone something else than the same old cliche about a player who wants badly to get onto the field in a real game, but hasn't able to get out there.
Del Rio, in his Monday press conference, told the media that Kampman may finally see action on Sunday in the home game against Cincinnati.
The Bengals are 2-2 on the season but boast the league's top rated defense. They also will be starting a rookie quarterback, Andy Dalton, who was their second round selection in this year's draft, much the Jaguars who trot Blaine Gabbert out onto the field again at EverBank Field.
"I'm as hopeful as ever that it's soon," Kampman said. "I don't know, but I practiced last week a little bit, getting more involved in all those football activities on the field. We'll see how it goes."
As a whole, they have recorded six sacks already in four games after finishing the 2010 season with 26 as a team. They also have improved their coverage in the secondary and have five interceptions, while they only had 13 all of least year.
Kampman's presence on the field, should he be able to play, will be felt just as much in a leadership role as it will when he puts a hand down on the ground from the right side of the defensive line. He was instrumental in the development of the play of defensive tackles Terrance Knighton and Tyson Alualu last season before he went down with the injury.
Kampman was the Jaguars' major free agent signing in 2010 in an effort to improve their pass rush. He signed with the team despite having an ACL injury the year before to his other knee.
Hopefully his play can also help reestablish the team as a run stopping defense. The Jaguars allowed 177 yards rushing to the Saints' last weekend, led by Darren Sproles, who had seven carries for 75 yards. Currently, the Jaguars rank sixth in the AFC in rushing defense and 15th in the NFL.
What this also means is that the rotation of defensive linemen gets better for the Jaguars. Defensive end Matt Roth has played in Kampman's place and was injured as well earlier this season. It was also determined by defensive coordinator Mel Tucker, defensive line coach Joe Cullen and Del Rio that there would more of a rotation of linemen to start the season.
Kampman knew going into the season his plays during a game would be cut almost in half.
The Bengals will use Cedric Benson as their primary back against the Jaguars if he is available.
Benson, who is sixth in the NFL with 348 yards on the season, will at some point have to serve a suspension for violating the NFL's conduct policy. It has not been determined yet if that will start this week.
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