Cincinnati Bengals RB Joe Mixon 'ready to roll' after injury-marred season

CINCINNATI -- Bengals running back Joe Mixon had plenty of reasons to smile on Friday.

After missing the last 10 games of the 2020 season with an undisclosed foot injury, Mixon said he feels great as he prepares for his fifth year with the franchise.

"Y'all see me running every day, cutting," Mixon said to reporters before Friday's practice. "I feel great, man. I'm just ready to roll."

In his first news conference since last October, Mixon detailed how he suffered the season-ending injury. According to the running back, he sustained the injury early in the second quarter of the team's Week 6 loss at Indianapolis. Mixon finished the drive with a 7-yard touchdown run. He played later in the game but did not return for the rest of the season.

When asked about the potential of him coming back toward the end of the Bengals' 4-11-1 season, Mixon said not returning "came down to being smart" as coaches advised him to get ready for 2021.

Mixon said not being with the team was difficult and it affected him mentally.

"I was definitely in a bad state," he said, adding that he appreciated those around him for keeping his spirits up during that time. "It sucked and it's over with."

The former Oklahoma running back was fully cleared around March, he said. On Friday, Mixon expressed his excitement about playing with a promising offensive core centered on quarterback Joe Burrow and being reunited with assistant coach Frank Pollack. Pollack was in charge of the offensive line when Mixon led the AFC in rushing in 2018.

"Last year is in the past, man," Mixon said. "We got a lot of great things to look forward to this year. Like I said, I'm just ready for Week 1."