Andrew Whitworth, one of the most underrated left tackles in the game, has been downgraded to out for the Bengals season-opener against the Bears.

Whitworth, dealing with a knee injury, will miss his first start in the past 68 games. He had originally been listed on the injury report as doubtful to play, so the downgrade isn’t a surprise.

But that doesn’t mean quarterback Andy Dalton has to be pleased about it. Or Whitworth for that matter.

“I have to continue to progress the way I have,” Whitworth said this week, via the Cincinnati Enquirer. "It’s weird, I haven’t played in a game but I’ve been out here every day, even the days they’ve had days off. I’m just trying to keep my head down and keep working.”

Anthony Collins, who has played at the left tackle spot this preseason because of Whitworth’s absence, will get the start Sunday. It’ll be his first start at left tackle since his rookie season in 2008.

Said Dalton, via the AP: “Obviously we’d love to have him out there, but it’s not a concern. [Collins] has done a good job. He’s had a really good camp. He’s a player that’s been around for a while and understands everything we’re doing. So I’m really comfortable with AC out there.”

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