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Geno Atkins to undergo surgery on nagging right shoulder, future with Bengals in doubt

Bengals, Geno Atkins

Geno Atkins’ tenure with the Cincinnati Bengals could be coming to an end.

The Bengals placed Atkins on Injured Reserve on Wednesday, ending his 11th season with the franchise. The defensive tackle has been dealing with nagging right shoulder issues throughout the season.

“As Geno Atkins heads into an offseason of uncertainty, source said he’s having shoulder surgery to repair an injury that plagued him from the start,” NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted.

Atkins has seen limited action in 2020 and hasn’t recorded a sack in eight appearances. He did not start a game was mostly limited to third down plays. He missed the first four games of the season with the shoulder injury.

With the franchise re-building around QB Joe Burrow, it may not make sense to bring Atkins back in 2021. The nose tackle will be 33 years old and would come with a $14.8 million cap hit.

Atkins has two years and about $26.5 million remaining on his deal.

He was selected by the Bengals in the fourth round (No. 120 overall) of the 2010 draft.

Earlier this season, Carlos Dunlap, the franchise’s all-time sack leader, essentially forced a trade that landed him with the Seattle Seahawks after sounding off about his playing time. Atkins similarly voiced his displeasure about his reduced role with the Bengals.

Like Dunlap, Atkins may eventually see a change of scenery — and likely before he plays another game in Cincinnati.

An eight-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro selection, Atkins is third in franchise history with 75.5 career sacks and produced multiple seasons as one of the league’s top defensive players. Atkins made his most recent Pro Bowl in 2019.

The Bengals are 2-10-1 on the season.