“I’m pumped up. It’s an exciting time,” the first-round pick said Sunday. “I have a bunch of family members coming up to Cincinnati because it’s close by Louisville, where I played [college] football, so it’s going to be an exciting time for me.”
Pryor admitted it was hard to watch his teammates play the opener and not be with them, especially after going through warm ups, but he recognizes taking a long-term approach is prudent.
“I appreciate Rex [Ryan] giving me an opportunity to get back healthy,” Pryor said. “This is a long season ahead of me, so I can’t rush anything.”
Pryor was cleared to return to practice last Monday, nine days after suffering a concussion. His practices have improved each day, according to Ryan.
“I missed a lot of practice and a lot of reps, so they have me going with a lot of reps,” Pryor said. “I just have to keep continuing to practice, build trust within my teammates, and go from there.”
Ryan said Pryor will have a chance to work with the first-team at some point during the preseason, but he wants to work him back slowly.
“He did miss a significant amount of time with the injury, but again we’ll get him up to speed,” Ryan said. “That’s why we even had him in the opportunity period we had him out there with the threes and just giving him some more play time.”
When asked if he was anxious to get back to his physical, hard-hitting style, Pryor replied, “I’m back now. I’m back.”