There was one message that I always kept in my mind and even proclaimed on this website throughout all of those months late last year and early this year regarding center LeCharles Bentley: "he's not done yet." Today, that message might be stronger than ever. According to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Bentley declared his decision to make an attempt to come back this season, rather than having surgery. Granted, the key word here is attempt, but that is much more positive than constantly hearing "I'll make a decision at a later date."
After having a reported four surgeries over the past 11 months, Bentley and his doctor decided against having a fifth surgery back on June 3, which would have officially ended his season before it began.
At the time, Bentley was told that his knee was healed well enough to live a normal life, but not to play football. That's when Bentley believed that a commitment to rehab was worth a shot. After returning to his doctor in mid-June, Bentley was told that his progress was remarkable.
About a week ago, Bentley informed Browns head coach Romeo Crennel that he would be attending training camp to see if he's able to play this season. Bentley anticipates focusing on individual drills for the first several weeks of camp, before possibly moving into contact drills around the third or fourth week into it. In the end, just like Browns cornerback Gary Baxter, Bentley has one goal: to play against the Pittsburgh Steelers on opening day.
If Bentley makes this comeback successfully, it could continue what's beginning to be a sign of good luck in terms of rehab for the Browns. Although both Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow were clearly hobbled at times last season, their early comebacks, especially Edwards', were unexpected. If Baxter and/or Bentley are able to return this season, we'll know that we have some very fortunate and dedicated troops ready to send out on the field on gameday.