Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Condition of Bengal corner is improved

Weathersby upgraded to fair

By Mark Curnutte
The Cincinnati Enquirer

After two weeks of static news, Bengals cornerback Dennis Weathersby was upgraded to fair condition Tuesday. He suffered a head injury in a one-car crash April 12 in Springdale and had been listed in serious condition since at University Hospital.

"Mr. Weathersby is now ready to begin the rehabilitation phase of his recovery," a hospital spokesperson said.

Weathersby is a second-year Bengals player from Oregon State. "We are excited about the progress of Dennis' recovery," Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said.

"He and his family are very appreciative of all the good wishes and prayers they have received."

Weathersby's age, 23, and physical condition are positive factors in his recovery, Lewis said. On April 20, Weathersby marked the one-year anniversary of suffering a gunshot wound through the back. He was an innocent bystander, police said, in a drive-by shooting in his hometown of Duarte, Calif., a Los Angeles suburb.

Weathersby appeared in only four games as a rookie. But coaches were counting on him to compete for significant playing time at cornerback this season. He had arrived on time to participate in the team's offseason strength and conditioning program, which started March 22.

Weathersby faces an uncertain football future because of the head injury.

The Bengals used two of their 11 draft picks on cornerbacks - Keiwan Ratliff (second round) and Greg Brooks (sixth round). They also had traded with Denver for Deltha O'Neal three days before Weathersby's auto accident.



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