Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon has been sidelined since having knee surgery following Week 2. Fortunately, it appears he could be ready to make his return soon.

The Bengals had initially given Mixon a two-week timetable after getting his knee scoped. However, it does not appear as though he will be available for this week’s matchup versus the Atlanta Falcons.

Via Josh Alper of ProFootballTalk:

Mixon added that his knee “feels great” doing those activities, but it doesn’t sound like a Week Four return is the likeliest scenario.

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Mixon’s absence deals a blow to the Bengals’ offense. However, it is still encouraging to see that he has made serious strides in his progression. The initial two-week timetable was always viewed as a best-case scenario. Even Mixon himself made it clear that he would not return until he feels he is 100 percent.

Prior to the injury, the Bengals were poised to make Mixon their next workhorse. They proved as much by giving him 21 carries in the season opener. However, they may now want to consider easing him back into his usual role once he is able to make his return.

Cincinnati has since regulated his workhorse duties to running back Giovani Bernard. Although Bernard is hardly as effective, he did a solid job in Mixon’s stead versus the Carolina Panthers. Gernard will need to take advantage of his role this week if he does not want to fall by the wayside when the starter returns.