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Marvin Lewis: Bengals' Burfict has a 'long ways to go'

Vontaze Burfict's recovery from microfracture knee surgery might not be going as swimmingly as the optimistic overtones on display back in February.

As the Bengals opened OTAs Tuesday, Burfict worked on the side.

"Vontaze will be in rehab all the way through the summer," Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said, per the Cincinnati Enquirer. "So he's got a long ways to go. He had surgery in January. That's a surgery that takes a bit. He's trying to beat the odds and do it quicker, but he's got a lot of work to do. It's part of the injury."

Initial reports indicated the Cincinnati Bengals linebacker could be ready by training camp. Our own NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport called it "in the realm of possibility" that Burfict could be full-strength by camp.

Last week, the team's official website called Burfict's status "up in the air" and a "tight call" whether he's ready for the season or will start the year on the physically unable to perform list. 

Lewis essentially confirmed that line of thinking Tuesday.

The 2013 Pro Bowl linebacker played in just five games in 2014. A tackling machine, Burfict would be missed on the outside should he start the season on the PUP list. The Bengals drafted Paul Dawson in the third round to go along with veteran A.J. Hawk and Vincent Rey as possible replacements.

The surgeon who performed Burfict's microfracture surgery told Rapoport in January that "the goal for him is to be full-go in July." 

Given Lewis' comments, it doesn't sound like the linebacker will meet that ambitious goal.

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