Crowds have diminished for practice field sessions leading up to Friday's opener against the Jets at Paul Brown Stadium, but that hasn't subdued the excitement surrounding the first downtown training camp in Bengals history.

Through the first two weeks of practice attendance has totaled around 23,610 for 11 sessions – three held inside the stadium. Last year's attendance in Georgetown, Ky. -- granted, the smallest in team history down there -- barely surpassed 5,000.

However, the first two weeks have felt like a win-win-win from for Bengals coach Marvin Lewis.

“It’s been outstanding,” Lewis said. “All the people involved have done a tremendous job and made it very stress-free for me, which is a good thing. Just the whole environment here throughout the stadium has been great. I think we’ve been able to handle things over on the practice fields very well.”

Lewis called immediate access to the team's medical technology a “home run” for the team. Previously, players with injuries had to make the 90-minute track from Georgetown back to Cincinnati to rehab injuries. Lewis ticked off a list of the rehab equipment available to the players in Cincinnati:

“From the Ultra G treadmill to the treadmills in the water and so forth and all the therapy pools that we have here and all the apparatus here to treat all the guys who are not quite all the way 100 percent with us yet,” he said.

There will be five more open training camp practices before the regular season. The Bengals will likely draw close to the 29,000 fans they set as a record in Georgetown during the 2010 preseason.

Bengals eyeing Hawkins on punt returns: Andrew Hawkins never returned punts before, but will be given an opportunity Friday against the Jets. Due to his diminutive size Hawkins has always been assumed to be a returner, but now will finally line up at the position that fits his body type.

“Obviously, being 5-7 the first thing someone is going to say is, 'Oh, he's a returner,'” Hawkins said. “There's so much I didn't know and still don't know but I am working on. I am just hoping to get out there and get better.”

Special teams coach Darrin Simmons worked Hawkins as a punt returner in practice last year, but stuck with WR Brandon Tate all season. But after a year of practice, he's curious to see how he performs in a game atmosphere.

“I feel comfortable with the guy,” Simmons said. “He'd never done it. But both Brandon and him spent a ton of time. I feel comfortable with a lot of those guys back there, but ultimately you've got to see it in a game. Who can make those decisions when it's crunch time. Those are the ones that matter.”

On the mend: Marvin Lewis believes if his team can come out of Friday's game unscathed, he'll see a team almost back to full health the following week at Atlanta.

Adam Jones (calf) is now probable for Friday's game after missing more than a week of camp, but first-round pick Dre Kirkpatrick and DT Pat Sims are closing in on returning for the first time in camp.

Corners Shaun Prater (knee) and Brandon Ghee (wrist) will be out an extended period of time, but everyone else appears close to returning.

Lewis said Ghee will be evaluated in four weeks for what is believed to be a broken wrist.

Preparing for Tebow: The Bengals worked Wednesday with WR Mohamed Sanu wearing a No. 15 jersey over his practice top pretending to run Wildcat snaps as Tim Tebow.

Sanu even threw a pass as the Bengals spent more than 10 minutes working on defensive alignment for his possible snaps. 

Follow Paul Dehner Jr. for Bengals updates from training camp on Twitter at @CBSSportsNFLCIN