Cincinnati Bengals activate Geno Atkins off PUP list

The Cincinnati Bengals are welcoming back a big-bodied, war-daddy behemoth to the middle of their defense.

The team on Wednesday announced that defensive tackle Geno Atkins has been activated from the physically unable to perform list on the heels of last October's torn ACL.

NFL Media's Albert Breer reported that Atkins participated in a walkthrough on Wednesday. Club sources also told Breer that the plan is for Atkins to take it slow out of the gate. He'll participate in individual drills to start with the occasional days off.

The coaches plan to get Atkins snaps in preseason games and team doctors remain optimistic that will happen in preparation for a healthy Week 1 start against the Baltimore Ravens.

With Atkins in the lineup, new defensive coordinator Paul Guenther has the benefit of a player that Pro Football Focus graded as the best athlete at his position in 2012 and twice as good as the next best defensive tackle. His return is a feverish shot of good news for a Bengals squad angling for a fourth-straight playoff appearance in the AFC.

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