Bengals Punter Drue Chrisman Returns, Opens Up About Hospital Scare

After collapsing in the weight room on the first day of training camp, Cincinnati Bengals punter Drue Chrisman made his practice debut Sunday.

Cincinnati Bengals punter Drue Chrisman still doesn’t know exactly what caused him to collapse in the team’s weight room on July 26, nor does he particularly care. All he knows is that it’s not something that is going to affect his future in football, as he was given full clearance to return to practice on Monday.

“Shoot, a couple of weeks ago, I did not see myself being back this soon,” Chrisman said. “Sitting in the hospital, you never know. That’s never ideal for any kind of situation or timeline. I’m grateful we checked all the boxes, and we were able to get out there safely, and it felt great. I got to knock some rust off, and I’m excited to be back for these last couple weeks.”

Bengals Punter Drue Chrisman Returns to Training Camp

Chrisman announced that he had been cleared to practice with a post on X on Saturday, which included a video of him making DoorDash deliveries as part of his offseason job.

Sunday, Chrisman took part in a live punt period with the full coverage and return teams.

“Just getting foot to ball again in a live team period event — that’s always good,” he said. “You just have to take each rep and make it even more valuable than I had a couple of weeks ago. Every rep I get now is more valuable.”

Chrisman and rookie sixth-round pick Brad Robbins will do some individual punt drills Monday, then after Tuesday’s off day, there will be another punt period at Wednesday’s practice, which will be the team’s last before playing its preseason game Friday night at Atlanta.

Chrisman is hoping to be active and punting against the Falcons.

“I haven’t really gotten a green light,” he said. “But my assumption is if I’m cleared to practice, I’ll be fine to play.”

In terms of what caused the setback in the first place, Chrisman said he’s out of the danger zone but still a little in the dark.

“They’re still waiting on a couple of test results, but as far as everything that was checked out, everything is looking good,” he said. “I don’t think there’s any more concern necessary, and they gave me the full green light. I think we’ve crossed that bridge, and I’ll put that behind me.”

It’s not the first time Chrisman has had a health issue set him back. A few months after the Bengals signed him as an undrafted college free agent out of Ohio State, Chrisman broke his hand and couldn’t compete against Kevin Huber in training camp.

Last year, he took Huber to the limit in camp, only to have the Bengals keep Huber based primarily on the experience and trust factor. When Huber’s performance began to slip, Chrisman took over for the final seven games.

But he finds himself trying to play catch-up yet again in a training camp battle to win the job, something he thought a lot about during the two days he spent in the hospital and in the time since.

“Especially the timing of it all was very peculiar,” Chrisman said. “The first day of training camp, and I’m getting ready to go out to practice, then I’m getting wheeled away in an ambulance to the hospital. It’s God’s timing, and I just had to trust it and work the steps. I’ve been communicating with the doctors and the trainers, and everything’s been great, and here I am suited up again.”

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