Pollack hopes to return for '08 season
By Len Pasquarelli
Cincinnati Bengals linebacker David Pollack, a former first-round choice who suffered a career-threatening neck injury in the second game of the 2006 season, will not play at all in 2007 but will continue rehabilitation in hopes of resuming his career in 2008.
Sources close to Pollack confirmed to ESPN.com that the former University of Georgia star, one of the most heralded defenders in Bulldogs history, will sit out this season. Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis also told a Savannah media outlet that Pollack will not play in 2007.
Pollack, however, does not intend to retire. He is hopeful that, with another year spent strengthening his neck and continuing his rehabilitation regimen, he will eventually be able to get back onto the field.
The Bengals are expected to address his status at the outset of training camp. In Pollack's absence, Cincinnati has made a number of moves to strengthen its linebacker corps.
Cincinnati was not counting on Pollack as a starter for this season and team officials had already acknowledged it would be a long shot for him to play in 2007.
Pollack, 25, sustained a fracture to the C6 vertebra in the Sept. 17 game against Cleveland last year, as he tackled tailback Reuben Droughns on the second play from scrimmage. He spent the ensuing three months in a halo device to promote healing but then underwent surgery in January 2007.
The 17th prospect selected overall in the 2005 draft after a stellar college career in which he earned All-America honors three times, Pollack missed virtually all of training camp in his rookie year because of a prolonged contract negotiation and eventually signed a five-year, $13 million deal that included $7.65 million in guarantees. He played in 14 games in 2005, including five as a starter.
For his career, Pollack has appeared in 16 games. He has 28 tackles, 4½ sacks, one fumble recovery and one pass defensed.