TDBH: Cook undergoes second surgery while Anderson settles in

Posted Mar 4, 2018

This Day in Bengals History - March 5, 1971

For the second time in six months Bengals All-Pro quarterback Greg Cook undergoes shoulder surgery performed by Dr. Royer Collins today at the Cleveland Clinic and the club believes he’ll be ready for training camp in mid-July. The Aug. 17 procedure to correct his rotator cuff wipes out all of the 1970 season for the AFL Rookie of the Year and five weeks ago the Bengals select Augustana College quarterback Ken Anderson in the third round. Still, news of the setback stuns the Bengals. Assistant general manager Mike Brown says yesterday they think he can start throwing by April 1 and defensive line coach Chuck Studley, watching Cook work at Spinney Field, says he’s been telling friends how good and strong Cook looks.

“It’s disconcerting to find out he needs further surgery,” Brown says. “But on the other hand it’s encouraging to know the problem has been identified now. We just hope its successful.” About two and a half weeks ago, Cook feels what trainer Marv Pollins calls “a popping out,” in his shoulder. The surgery is designed to tighten up muscles in the damaged area. Bill Walsh, the Bengals quarterbacks and wide receivers coach, knows he has to move on until Cook gets back. “It’s one of those things,” Walsh says. “It seems like it’s been a tough break after tough break. But we have been told he’ll be available next season and we just hope he will be.”

Walsh, a future Hall-of-Fame coach who’ll say before he dies that Cooks is the best talent he’s ever had, turns his attention to Anderson. The rookie is settling into Cincy to prepare for next week’s minicamp as Cook goes under the knife. He’s going to start student teaching through the University of Cincinnati while being the student at his other job. “We want to get Ken started learning our nomenclature and system of football and we’ll go from there,” Walsh says. The sad story continues. Cook only has three more NFL passes in him and he won’t throw them for two more years. Anderson, though, throws his first 131 passes this season and makes his first four starts. He loses all of them but takes a big step to be named the starter next year in a career he’ll finish as the club’s all-time passer.


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