CINCINNATI — Bengals tight end C.J. Uzomah ripped off his knee brace at the team's fan rally Monday, hours after saying he will do everything he can to play in Super Bowl LVI.
Uzomah said he has been working with Cincinnati's training staff to rehab an MCL sprain he suffered during the AFC championship game. He was carted off the field late in the first quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs, returning to the sideline on crutches.
Though it often takes several weeks to recover from more intense sprains, Uzomah said his mind is set and he is preparing to play against the Rams Sunday.
"I'm not missing the biggest game of my life," Uzomah said. "I'm not missing it."
8 days after hurting his knee in the AFC Championship game — @cj_uzomah ripped-off his knee brace & threw it, in front of 30,000 #Bengals fans. pic.twitter.com/Lq14NNLkZE— Caleb Noe (@CalebNoeTV) February 8, 2022
Photos captured the Auburn alum crying as he was taken off the field at Arrowhead Stadium, his head buried in a towel. Uzomah said the tears in his eyes had less to do with the pain and more to do with his inability to return and help his team win.
"I was upset that I wasn't going to be able to go out there and compete with the guys and help, on the field, win the AFC Championship," Uzomah said.
When staff told him he should stay in the locker room and elevate his leg, Uzomah said he knew it was important he return and cheer the team on from the sideline. That's not to say he hasn't dealt with any pain.
"It's been a grind," Uzomah said. "It's been a lot of early mornings and late nights of just rehabbing and fighting through some stuff, but I feel really good. I feel really, really good."
While he described himself as "day-to-day" six days out, Uzomah said he knows he is doing everything in his power to contribute on the field.
"If I wake up and I'm like, oh man it's a little sore, alright, it doesn't matter...right when I put my feet on the ground, it's go time," Uzomah said.
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