Is Cullen Jenkins Back?

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“It’s kind of frustrating and you wonder, ‘what has happened.'” It’s good to see that Cullen Jenkins was asking the same questions so many of us were asking over the course of the season.

The Rams game Sunday was another breakthrough for a guy who at the end of last season became the Green Bay Packers’ starting right defensive end and performed so well he earned a four-year, $16 million contract. After a good start to the season against Philadelphia (five tackles, four quarterback hits, one tackle for loss, one pass defensed), Jenkins has not been right physically, suffering from wrist, rib, knee and ankle ailments.

None of them have been serious enough to cause him to miss a game, but they have been nagging enough to rob him of his best tool: an explosive first step. The worst were ankle and knee injuries he suffered against Washington when he got “high-lowed” by a pair of blockers and twisted up his right leg.

The ankle hasn’t been the same since. His defensive line coaches, Carl Hairston and Robert Nunn, have pushed him to play through the pain and to understand that he can be a productive player, even if he’s not 100%. Jenkins, who has one sack this year and 16 quarterback hits, has had trouble getting through it, in part because he’s never been hurt before.

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