Andy Dalton's blindside protector could miss Week 1 23 By Chris Wesseling Around the League Writer Published: Sept. 3, 2013 at 03:34 p.m. Updated: Sept. 3, 2013 at 04:05 p.m. Around The League's injury roundup noted that Cincinnati Bengals left tackle Andrew Whitworth's status is in doubt for Sunday's season opener versus the Chicago Bears. Whitworth has missed the entire preseason with a left knee injury. The Bengals re-signed swing tackle Dennis Roland on Tuesday, but it isn't a move that inspires confidence in Whitworth's health entering the season. Around the League's Dan Hanzus has been following the drama on HBO's "Hard Knocks" closely. Check out his takes on the entire season. » (Un)official 'Hard Knocks' Viewing Guide » Episode 1: A reminder of show's power » Episode 2: Comic Relief Foreign Guy » Bernard not interested in 'Hard Knocks' » Episode 3: Check your emotions at the door » Episode 4: Never arm wrestle James Harrison » Gruden delivers rant for the ages In fact, The Cincinnati Enquirer's Joe Reedy believes there's an "outside shot" it will be Whitworth rather than wide receiver Andrew Hawkins who ends up drawing the injured reserve-designated to return tag. Speaking to reporters Monday, Whitworth provided no timetable for his return. As a former Cincinnatian, I can report with confidence that this year's edition of the Bengals' roster is the first of my lifetime that appears to boast the best talent in the division on both sides of the ball. If Whitworth misses significant action, though, that might no longer be the case. A top-six left tackle in Pro Football Focus' player ratings for three years running, Whitworth is the team's most valuable offensive lineman. Considering quarterback Andy Dalton's struggles when the ball doesn't come out quickly, an extended absence from Whitworth is cause for alarm in what projects to be a tight AFC North race. Who can fail to appreciate a blindside protector with the mindset below?